Mandy Moore Monday: Coverage

Is the person who created #ThrowbackThursday profiting from all the social media posts? Do we even know who started it? Well remember this post because I’m about to start a new hashtag in honor of America’s underrated sweetheart – Mandy Moore.

Welcome to Mandy Moore Monday, in which I heap praise upon a woman who has graced us with her talents for years. And now, she’s gracing us with her talents every Tuesday with the breakout hit This Is Us – a series that has reached the type of success that has been years in the making.

For a little backstory, Mandy hasn’t had the best of luck with pilots over the past few years. One original project with ABC fell through, another CBS legal drama (alongside Ben McKenzie/Ryan Atwood, making your 2000s shipper hearts go into full bloom) failed to get picked up, and she even signed on for an adaptation of British TV series called Pulling, but she and the producers came to a mutual decision for her to leave the show. And do you remember Red Band Society? She wasn’t even a regular and it still got cancelled. Needless to say, she needed This Is Us. Not only because she needed a win, but because WE needed a win. We NEED Mandy Moore back in our lives. Get ready folks – IT’S TIME FOR THE MANDYISSANCE.

After you catch up with This Is Us and want MOORE Mandy, how about throwin’ it back to a past project of hers you might have missed – her 2003 album Coverage. This was post-Candy and even post-In My Pocket, and the first record that was a 180 from her pop songs and strictly an album of cover songs from the 1970s and 1980s. I admit I was one of those teens who hadn’t even heard any of these tunes until she covered them and legitimately expanding music knowledge to a whole new generation.

So for the first installment of Mandy Moore Monday, I present to you a collection of my five favorite tracks from the Coverage album. And you can listen to the entire album on Spotify!

The Whole of the Moon

As previously mentioned, there are some songs on the album I’d only heard for the first time through Mandy’s angelic voice, and The Whole of the Moon immediately became one of my favorites. The original 1985 version is by a British/Irish group called The Waterboys (whose lead singer’s name is Mike Scott?) and is considered one of their best-known songs. But you know who’s never heard the OG song before? A majority of teens v into pop music who didn’t know what they were getting into when Mandy released a follow up to In My Pocket. But that’s part of the brilliance of this album. For those who didn’t know the original songs, a track like The Whole of the Moon is just a new Mandy Moore song which she sings beautifully and with grace. And for those looking for a history lesson, they can go back and listen to the The Waterboys’ version and get educated on early rock. Either way, it’s a win-win.

Can We Still Be Friends

I’m going to be honest with you – a majority of these songs I still haven’t heard the original version of because I have no interest. Mandy Moore is good enough for me. It’s also because I’m not keen on the 70s/80s rock sound, so hearing these classics through a singer whose music I enjoy is truly a gift. This song was originally done by Todd Rundgren, whose name sounds vaguely familiar but is also one of those white male rocker names that could’ve been featured in SNL’s Blue Oyster Cult band. As for the song itself, it’s got a chill vibe to it, but towards the end she goes into a bit of a belt. But not Idina Menzel belt, the kind of belt that I love so much about Mandy’s voice – it’s not forced but strong enough to get the point across and still sound powerful.

Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters

Sir Elton John made this tune a classic back in 1972, and Mandy does the music icon justice with her own version of Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters. I think this song is the perfect example of where her voice sits naturally, in which she’s not trying too hard, but giving it just the right amount of emotion to feel just right.  A Goldilocks of a song, if you will.

Drop the Pilot

I admittedly haven’t listened to the Coverage album in its entirety in a few years, but when I listened to this song for the first time in a while, it just got me so pumped and inspired me to play Mandy Moore tracks for the rest of the day. Drop the Pilot, originally done by Joan Armatrading, is just a fun, upbeat track, and I couldn’t even tell you what it’s about, but that’s secondary to the music itself. ALSO.

FACT: I had never seen this music video before.

FACT: This video was shot in our hometown of Rochester, New York! WHILE WE WERE IN HIGH SCHOOL, YET I HAVE NO RECOLLECTION OF THIS HAPPENING. Apparently, the video was made as a demo for Kodak’s “Vision2 500T series motion picture film” and they used it to promote the product.

FACT: Kodak’s headquarters are located in Rochester. It’s one of our *things*. You can even visit the house of George Eastman, the founder of Kodak.

BONUS: AOL Live Session that is a time machine back to EXACTLY 13 YEARS AGO ON OCTOBER 3RD, 2003!

Have a Little Faith in Me

Ok, besides Candy and In My Pocket, this cover of John Hiatt’s Have a Little Faith in Me is probably one of Mandy’s greatest hits. Mandy’s always had a bit of an ethereal quality in her voice, which is perfect for a song whose lyrics inspire encouragement and trust from a loved one. Well, you got me Mandy. You got me.