on June 19, 2007
I feel like I listened to a different album than the other two reviewers so far did. Mandy Moore started out with So Real, an album that even Mandy admits she didn't like. On that album, she was just another Britney clone, without as many guilty pleasures. The CD I Wanna Be With You featured the title ballad that was a departure, but the CD was pretty much the same. The self-titled album showed growth with some good hooks, but Mandy's vocal maturation wasn't complete. Coverage showed her able to tackle some classic songs. Now, on Wild Hope, Mandy has made a gem of a CD that has confident vocals and sparkling folk/pop songs. Her voice can sound higher on "Extraordinary," or lower and soulful on "Nothing That You Are" and "Few Days Down." Collaborating with acclaimed artists like The Weepies, Chantal Kreviazuk, and Lori McKenna has helped Mandy form her own sound. An album that's a bit comparable is Jewel's Spirit, but Wild Hope is a bit more classic pop than that CD. Mandy manages to create artistic songs that also have strong melodies. The melodies might not all be radio friendly, but listen enough and you will be humming the songs. "Wild Hope," really pure folk, just might be my favorite song. Mandy has really surprised me with this amazing CD!
on June 24, 2007
Some of the reviews for "Wild Hope" are ridiculously divisive and, frankly, I don't see the need for it. People should step back, take a breath, and remember that musical tastes (for both artists and listeners) change over time, and Mandy Moore is no exception. I personally love her old stuff, and it still plays regularly in my deck, but "Wild Hope" has earned it's place there, as well. Instead of comparing this offering with her older collection, it is necessary to examine it in it's own right. Many people are decrying that they expected 'more', be that lyrically, vocally, or in terms of maturation. Mandy Moore is twenty-three years old, not forty. I think "Wild Hope" speaks volumes of where she is in her life right now, and I'm grateful to be along for the ride.
The bottom line: Moore is a superior vocalist compared to most of her contemporaries and manages to make even the weakest songs shine. Her previous CDs were littered with both gems and a few clinkers. Fortunately, there are no weak songs on this album. Perhaps people are reacting to the genre or another nebulous construct, but I consider this to be very fitting with my view of who Mandy is (and BTW, I have no problems understanding her vocals - a lyric sheet is unnecessary). Every note is infused with gentle passion, her interpretation belies her years, and I find her writing interesting and provocative without being shameless or melodramatic. Standout tracks include the much-heralded 'Gardenia', 'Looking Forward to Looking Back', 'Slummin' in Paradise', and the title track. If you like Moore, you'll like this, provided you accept that she's an actual person with thoughts and opinions, and not a mindless corporate drone. This has been in my player 24/7 for almost a week and will undoubtedly stay there for the foreseeable future.
on June 19, 2007
My heart soars... my mind is boggled! MANDY? Is this really Mandy Moore? Tell me this is not the same girl who sang "CANDY"? I am speechless. This has got to be one of the best albums of the year!! "Few Days Down" and "Wild Hope" are just breathtaking...
DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND PICK UP THIS ALBUM NOOOOOOOOOOOW! You won't be disappointed.
The TARGET version has two extra tracks you guys might want to take advantage of. Totally worth the trip... just wow.
on August 17, 2007
I have always said that Mandy Moore sang better than Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson. Yet because Mandy always conducted herself with class and dignity, she got less airplay, and less press than trashy Britney or ditzy Jessica. Now, who has the last laugh? Mandy has a thriving film career and has just released her best CD yet. Every song on here is good, with the best (in my opinion) being Nothing That You Are, and Can't You Just Adore Her. This is music made for adults, laid back and easy going, with introspective lyrics. The shocker though is Gardenia. Just Mandy and a piano. She sings about how she let a former love consume her and how she is learning to be happy by herself. Chill inducing.
on June 19, 2007
As a folk-pop singer-songwriter fan of a certain age, I probably have a different viewpoint regarding this album than some previous reviewers. In fact, I never paid any attention at all to Mandy Moore's CDs until I began reading favorable reviews of "Coverage" from familiar veteran critics. So I bought the album, was pleasantly surprised by Mandy's abilities as a adult-pop interpretive singer. Her latest release,"Wild Hope" not only demonstrates Moore's vocal talents, but also showcases her gifts as a songwriter. (As others have noted, she co-wrote all of the tracks on the new CD.)
Stylistically, the songs range from the pure folk-pop sound of the title track, "Wild Hope" to the 70s soft rock of "Nothing That You Are" (which is very reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac). But most of the tracks fall somewhere between these two extremes. Particularly noteworthy are "Most Of Me" and "Looking Forward to Looking Back", both of which have strong Joni Mitchell influence in the vocal line. A fine effort by Mandy, one which I would expect to appeal to fans of Norah Jones, Jewel, and Sarah McLachlan. One of the best new albums I've heard so far this year - highly recommended!
on April 28, 2008
I was 10 when Mandy Moore first came onto the scene with her single "Candy" and album "So Real." Her sound was just like Britney Spears/Jessica Simpson, but at my age then, the bubblegum lyrics were enough to keep me satisfied. However, where Britney/Jessica remain pop clones, Mandy has gradually matured and developed at the same time as I have gotten older and not been content with bubblegum crap anymore. I moved towards artists like Michelle Branch, Vanessa Carlton, Jewel, Sarah McLachlan, etc. and I feel like Mandy's new sound on this album is on the same level as these artists. I loved this album because it has such a wide of emotions, from the moody and reflective to in-your-face and angsty. I was waiting for her to make this album all along, because it represents who she truly is as an artist.
on May 4, 2014
This is not pop-cheese Mandy, this is singer-songwriter Mandy, and it's a shame this release basically came and went without a blip on the radar. There are so many excellent tracks on this CD. And I love the bonus track "Could've Been Watching You". This CD has been on my playlist since 2007 or 2008. LOVE IT!
Standout tracks... "Can't You Just Adore Her"?, "Slummin' in Paradise", "Latest Mistake", the single "Extraordinary", the title track "Wilde Hope" and that bonus track "Could've Been Watching You"among others.
Mandy has reached, musically, a new level of maturity here. The songs are more folk-rock, with a country tinge. "Extraordinary" is the closest thing to "pop", on the CD. This is such a good one... there is NOT a bad song on the whole album.
Though she had another album come out after this one, I still think "Wilde Hope" remains Mandy's masterpiece.
on August 16, 2007
I typically don't bother to review music because usually the fans write glowing reviews and rate it a 5. The anti-fans came in to trash it and rate it a 1. It's boring and not terribly helpful. That said, I felt moved to rate this album. I was not a Mandy Moore fan, in fact I had never really heard her sing before. I previewed the album on AOL Listening Party and loved the country-inflected pop songs enough to go out and buy the album. It's not often I love a whole album and this one is my favorite album released this year. Stand out tracks for me are "Ladies Choice", "Gardenia", and "Slummin' in Paradise".
on June 22, 2007
First off let me say, "Anonymous Mandy Moore Fan" is completely biased and subjective in his online review of "Wild Hope." Evidently, this guy has NO clue what it means to grow up, mature, and finally break away from an oppressive record label. Apparently, this guy has NO idea that a singer's musical tastes change...
But, in any event...
Mandy Moore has come a long way since the 90s prepubescent pop-boom. She has proved herself as a successful recording artist--with four platinum albums -- and 7 million records sold worldwide. She's also a credible Hollywood actress -- with 12 feature films under her belt -- two of which are set to release this summer and one is currently in production. It should come as no surprise then that "Wild Hope" is both a departure from the old and an arrival into the new.
Displeased with the type of music she was forced to sing under her first label (Epic/Sony 500), Moore has since then ventured into singer-songwriter territory -- with flying colors I might add. Recruiting the likes of Lori McKenna, Rachel Yamagata and Chantal Kreviazuk, Moore has created a masterpiece full of deep, meaningful lyrics and punchy melodies. "Wild Hope" is truly reminiscent of Joni Mitchell and Fleetwood Mac - musically, vocally and lyrically.
The first single, "Extraordinary," fails to deliver what the entire album encompasses: self-reflection and vocal growth, with an emphasis on the latter. "Extraordinary" takes away from other songs on the record such as "Few Days Down," a mid-tempo, folk/pop tune with lyrics like "If nobody sees you cry / You can say it was raining outside..." However, it's the songs, "Latest Mistake" and "Gardenia" that shine the brightest, demonstrating Moore's unprecedented and unique way of self-discovery and self-disclosure. "Why I have to always miss you / Why I have to always make the call" and "I'm the one who likes gardenia / I'm the one who likes to make love on the floor...It's been good getting to know me more."
There are a number of potential hit songs on this record, so let's hope Moore's current label (the independently owned The Firm/EMI) takes heed at releasing one of the above tunes, or perhaps the more radio-friendly songs, "Slummin' in Paradise," "All Good Things," or "Nothing That You Are."
Whatever you're looking for -- or whoever you are -- "Wild Hope" is worth your time and money. This is especially true if you're a die-hard fan or just someone in pursuit for music with substance, heart, and the singer's hand-written lyrics.
on June 19, 2007
Mandy already surprised me with her album "Coverage" (2003), but this one is even better! Excellent music, funny and mature lyrics and a beautiful voice: that's the perfect combination for an album, and this is what "Wild Hope" has. Way to go Mandy!