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Mandy Moore, ''Coverage'' (DVD/CD Edition)
Sony Music // Unrated // October 21, 2003
List Price: $18.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
While many have been more concerned with Britney's collaboration with Madonna or Jessica Simpson's renewal as something of a TV star, teen pop singer Mandy Moore has quietly gone about a complete change in her music. First known as a lightweight pop star with the fluff hit "Candy", Moore's next album offered surprising and positive changes, including instrumental backing, stronger singing from Moore, some exotic rhythms that fit nicely and pleasing hooks/melodies. While not groundbreaking, it was a very pleasant surprise that made Moore stand out and show potential that fellow singers in her genre lack.
Moore's latest effort is an interesting and slightly risky attempt to try and continue her process of maturing as a musician. Her latest effort, "Coverage", is a CD full of covers of pop hits, including "Have a Little Faith In Me", "One Way Or Another", "Senses Working Overtime", "Whole of the Moon", "Moonshadow", "Help Me", "Anticipation" and "I Feel The Earth Move". Although Moore's attempt at "One Way Or Another" isn't really distinctive, the other songs are - in my opinion - respectful and tasteful updates that highlight Moore's continually improving vocals.
The deluxe edition of the CD is one of many new CD releases that are accompanied by a DVD edition that offers a 30-minute documentary on the making of the album. The presentation is a little too much along the lines of the usual promotional fare (do we really need the sudden cuts away to black and white footage?), but Moore's impossibly sunny, yet seemingly genuine and rather down-to-earth personality manages to make the piece enjoyable.
Throughout the documentary, Moore admits that she was unfamiliar with a lot of the classics and discusses her introduction to the songs that are included on the album, as well as the importance of this music and trying to introduce it to a new generation. We're also shown around the studio were Moore recorded, which has a funky, "homegrown" vibe where the electronics seem to take a backseat to the ambience.
The documentary also includes some very brief snippets of performance footage and B-roll from sets of Moore's films (appears to be from "How to Deal").
VIDEO/SOUND: The documentary is presented in 1.33:1 full-frame. The picture appears crisp and clear, with no compression artifacts, shimmer or other issues. The stereo soundtrack captured dialogue and music clearly, but a 5.1 mix would have aided the musical passages.
EXTRAS: "Have a Little Faith In Me" music video.
Final Thoughts: I found "Candy"-era Moore difficult to take seriously, but she's really managed to start to do her own thing and the results of that turnaround have been very positive, signaling an artist with a bright future. Recommended. Available in CD/DVD or CD editions - both have different covers.