Tuesday, January 20, 2004

submeat's top 100 tracks of 2003: songs to download and love

#56 "Can We Still Be Friends," Mandy Moore (Epic)

The best review I've read of Mandy's Coverage comes from Allmusic's maestro, Stephen Thomas Erlewine. Its last sentence is dead-on:

"Moore and [producer/engineer John] Fields still have the charts in mind, but they're trying to do something of substance within the modern mature-pop framework, and while Coverage isn't always successful, it is always admirable and likeable, and certainly puts Moore on the right path for an interesting, successful career."

Foremost among those tracks which are successful is her cover of Todd Rundgren's marvelous, elegiac "Can We Still Be Friends," a "sweet, sad love song" perfectly matched to Mandy's voice and tenor. The arrangement here fits the song (and Mandy's performance) finely, rich without being overdone, underpinned by a simple (real) piano. As Erlewine says, the entire album isn't a triumph. But it's got enough good stuff on it to show that Mandy's definitely on the right track as far as her career goes, as "Friends" makes eminently clear.

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