Saturday, June 23, 2007

Music Review: Wild Hope

Mandy Moore

Mandy Moore's first new release in over four years sees the starlet mature as an artist. Working with The Weepies, Lori McKenna and Rachel Yamagata, among others, she co-wrote all of the songs on this CD, realizing a sound that could be seen forming in the album Coverage, where she remade songs like Elton John's Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters, with a voice much stronger than established previously. In Wild Hope, Moore brings an artistic vision to fruition as her music makes a sharp turn toward folk, and sprinkled with a little country, leaving most of the instantly gratifying bubblegum pop in the past. There are a few songs that hold a little semblance to Coverage, like the first release from the CD, Extraordinary, and the sassy Nothing That You Are, but for the most part, Mandy's sound is refreshing and really, quite good. As much of an improvement as Coverage was over Moore's previous efforts, Wild Hope is that much better in every respect: the vocals, the writing and arrangements of the music, and the overall package. Put your preconceptions aside and check this one out. A+

Key Tracks: Extraordinary, Most of Me, Wild Hope, Nothing That You Are, Ladies' Choice

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