In Mandy Moore’s newest album, “Coverage,” she leaves all the writing to the more capable hands of musicians such as Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, Carly Simon, Debbie Harry, Elton John and Carole King.
Mandy Moore has had medial success since her debut with “Candy” and has not been able to find her niche in the world of music.
In “Coverage,” Moore is able to find her voice in a few of the popular tunes, especially, “Have a Little Faith in Me,” “Help Me,” and “The Whole of the Moon.” Her sweet persona matches “Have a Little Faith in me” perfectly, for this sweet brunette seems to exude trust and at times a glimmer of maturity.
Early in the album, Moore sings “The whole of the moon” and “Can we still be friends” with a relatively strong voice and an interesting production blend that helps modernize the songs without losing their past charms.
Part of Moore’s problem in this album however, is the spunk she tries to create when covering Debbie Harry’s “One way or another” and Carole King’s “I feel the earth move.”
She can’t even be seen in the same league as Harry in terms of talent and only King can sing songs such as “I feel the earth move,” in her own time period. It doesn’t match Moore’s vocal talents or personality at all.
Moore isn’t the first one to put out a complete cover album, though she has had less success than those before her. She won’t match the success that Gloria Estefan found with her cover album. Estefan was able to cover hits such as “Everlasting love” and “Turn the beat around” and make them her own. Most people wouldn’t or didn’t even know that those songs were covers, because they sounded like Estefan material. Moore, who doesn’t have a long steam of material to build on, cannot churn out cover song hits without sounding at least a little cheesy.
Another problem Moore faces is the fact that she is competing with more successful and more sexual artists such as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, whether she likes it or not. Moore can’t seem to create a solid audience or buzz around her music the way her counterparts have been able to for several years.
While her voice is stronger than Spears’ and more appealing than Jessica Simpson’s, she hasn’t been able to use it to create any solid radio hits. “Coverage” perpetuates this problem in that there is not one solid radio hit on this album.
The only song on “Coverage” that may generate some steam on the radio is “Have a little faith in me,” and even that song may only cross over the Adult Top 40 radio stations.
While Moore’s film career begins to build and her popularity grows as she competes in both medias, she only has perhaps a few more attempts in the music industry before she fades away, only known for small hits such as “Candy” and “Crush.”
Key Tracks – “The whole of the moon,” “Help Me,” “Have a little faith in me” and “Can we still be friends.”