Tuesday, November 04, 2003

IT WOULD BE an exaggeration to say Mandy Moore put out a cover album of my favorite songs, but she sure did choose a few that I love (XTC's "Senses Working Overtime," Blondie's "One Way or Another," Joni Mitchell's "Help Me"), like (Joe Jackson's "Breaking Us in Two") or feel a lot of affection for (Carly Simon's "Anticipation").

Listen to "Coverage," though, and the note-for-note versions of those songs and others add up to something less like a big-time record than like an A-plus final project for vocal-performance class. Or maybe just a very pleasant night at a karaoke bar with a prom queen who can sing pretty well. Mandy didn't exactly put her stamp on these songs. Of course, Mandy doesn't have a stamp yet.

If Jessica Simpson is the one who struggled with the meaning of "Chicken of the Sea," you could call Mandy Moore the one who wants Star-Kist to see what good taste she has. I'll stop with the tuna analogies before I get carried away with Britney and Christina.

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