The self-titled third album by, who else, Mandy Moore.

Usually my tastes lie in the Ninja Tune/Warp Records area, so when I realized I actually liked Ms. Moore's album, I was understandably shocked. I got it with one of Columbia House's get eleven CD's now for free if you agree to buy four more in two years promotions. It's a stretch to find anything worth buying from Columbia House, so I figured I'd find a few good CD's to spend my money on and just order a bunch of lousy ones for free. I won't tell you what else I got because it all sucks and soon they will be used as coasters or frisbees.

The album stands out against the dreary background of teen pop stars because it sounds and feels more like it was written by one of those mythical "bands" of the past. Not to mention some subject matter that wouldn't exactly appeal to pre-pubescent teenage girls. ("There's no mistaking the barrage/of sand and wind that tears my skin/leaving what's without, exposing what's within." from Saturate Me)

The tracklisting goes a little something like this:

  1. In My Pocket
  2. You Remind Me
  3. Saturate Me
  4. One Sided Love
  5. 17
  6. Cry
  7. Crush
  8. It Only Took A Minute
  9. Turn the Clock Around
  10. Yo-Yo
  11. From Loving You
  12. Split Chick
  13. When I Talk to You

In My Pocket, Saturate Me, One Sided Love, and It Only Took A Minute are all produced by Emilio Estefan, husband of latin music star Gloria Estefan. They all feature either Chinese, Indian, or Middle Eastern instruments, and some very nicely chopped up beats.

Other highlights are the densely arranged You Remind Me, the smash hit single Cry, and the catchy Split Chick. I don't know exactly what it is about these that appeal to me, but they do. I'm indifferent towards the rest of the songs, although there aren't any that I would say I loathe as much as anything I've ever heard by Britney. Even the obligatory song about a Crush is more cute than annoying.

I don't know what possessed me to order this, maybe fate, but I'm glad I did. As an added bonus, the little black dress Mandy is wearing in the liner notes that's held up by a string around her neck is just amazing.

A word of warning, though: if pop music isn't your thing and you can't ignore lyrics, you should probably avoid this. I've listened to so much jazz and electronic music I don't even hear words anymore, so it's not a problem. You've been warned.