Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Mandy Moore – I Could Break Your Heart Any Day of the Week

She’s a different person, turned her world around…


Alex Macpherson: In which Mandy Moore thins her lips, pinches her voice and wins third prize at her local Reese Witherspoon impersonator competition.

Erika Villani: Back when she was fighting to establish herself as a Serious Artist Who Writes Serious Music, all Mandy Moore talked about was how much she hated “Candy,” calling it “a song with no meaning at all,” and asking, “How do you miss someone like candy?” I guess “I Could Break Your Heart Any Day of the Week” is the best we can expect from a woman who can’t understand a simple simile — for a song that’s ostensibly about all the ways she could break you, it’s curiously devoid of power or creativity. Mandy repeats the titular line twelve times, and lists the days of the week another three, just in case we weren’t clear on the meaning of “any day of the week.” Each time she runs through the days, she wraps it up with “Sunday rolls around, but that’s another story — it gets a little boring.” So does this song.

Briony Edwards: Since when does simply listing the days of the week pass as an acceptable chorus?

Al Shipley: Any song with lyrics that repeat a title this long this many times basically shouldn’t have ever made it past the notebook stage.

Dave Moore: Mandy…it’s complicated. I think disowning “Candy” was stupid, but you’re not bad as a lite pseudo-country singer/songwriter. I don’t want to dislike you on principle. But your career trajectory is pretty much on a parallel universe track with Melissa Lefton, who, after her Matrix-produced teenpop album was shelved in 2001, eventually dusted herself off and returned as half of an un-googleable, arch sunshine pop duo. See, after failing to take off, and without the extra step of deliberately burning all of her bridges on some artiste bullshit, she became fairly obscure and is pleasant enough if you manage to find her. She is you with bad luck. So kudos on the sunshine, and I trust that your Twitter is literate, but what you call integrity I call a moderately pleasant CD Baby discovery.

Martin Skidmore: Oddly this sounds like it could have been recorded by an American pop-rock act before she was born (25 years ago). It’s a neat enough song, and she performs it well, with total confidence, but the style didn’t do much for me way back then, and it still doesn’t.

Martin Kavka: This track, with its tinny keyboards, handclaps, and warm vocals could have appeared on Fleetwood Mac’s _Tusk_. Still, it’s obvious that Moore wants to be a feminist manifesto (women were *authentic* back in that decade, etc etc etc), but repeated listens don’t make this anything more than a meringue, more typical of the teen-pop from which Moore will spend the rest of her career fleeing.

David Raposa: On one hand, it’s pretty neat that the first single from Mandy Moore: Unleashed (with help from a member of the Candy Butchers I mean the co-writer of the songs from Walk Hard) sounds a lot like an outtake one of her proto-power-pop idols left on some dusty studio shelf. But then there’s a reason they’d shelve this awkward mish-mash of cutesy fuck-off lyrics, Fleetwood Mac harmonies, & clavinet boogie-woogie. Of course, it’s these very same WTF qualities that make “Break Your Heart” a perfect like-it-or-lump-it release. If she’s looking to burn any remaining bridges between her pre-fab pop past and the decidedly different drum she’s now beating, consider that mission accomplished. Here’s hoping she actually gets good at this.

Jonathan Bradley: Moore explains she can break your heart at exactly the time the title suggests, but it’s just a pop construct; this has “Steal My Sunshine” levels of cheeriness. It’s the sort of music that gets made in boom times, not this era of the Great Recession. So, a welcome distraction, right? Well, no: “I Can Break Your Heart…” makes all the right moves, but it has more of the idea of being a great pop song than actually achieving great pop. Its moves are too carefully deployed for me to really get carried away.

Frank Kogan: This cocktease of a song would be fine if belted out by some country cutie like Sarah Johns or Ashton Shepherd, or given passive aggression by a shy Scando like Marit Larsen, or even with the bitter little twists of the Mandy Moore of “Nothing That You Are,” but the Mandy on this one just doesn’t seem up to breaking anything. Only getting points for the song, not the singing.

Ian Mathers: There’s an odd lilt in Moore’s voice when she sings the title that puts me in mind of Scandinavian popsters (Marit Larsen, etc.), which is fitting enough as the rest of the song sounds like Sondre Lerche. Unfortunately, I’ve always found Lerche boring.

Edward Okulicz: Oh Mandy, you have such a pretty voice and such exquisite taste (though not in men). But as a songwriter, you lack something. Your lyrics miss the mark – cutesy and clumsy, not clever. Mike Viola is a great choice of collaborator, and this sounds like a good Candy Butchers song, but something’s missing that would drive this past pleasant. It’s sad, but your voice was just better suited to the fluffy pop stuff you hate – Mandy Moore, you are the accountant who dreams of being a lion tamer.

3 Responses to “Mandy Moore – I Could Break Your Heart Any Day of the Week”

  1. I didn’t know Mandy had disowned ‘Candy’ in those terms. I mean, yeah, out of context “I’m missing you like candy” is a weird thing to say, but you wonder how she missed the explanations for it which she spends the entire rest of the song on, e.g., how “your love’s as sweet as candy”, “I’m craving you” &c &c &c.

  2. This came on utterly at random on my ipod and, forgetting who it was, I really enjoyed it! I think the ‘boxers were reviewing her dumbness more than the record. It’s not as good as “Candy” or “In My Pocket”, but it’s a good Sheryl Crow goes Powerpop sort of thing. Wd have given it a 7.

  3. Yeah, a 6 or a 7 strikes me as about right. It’s overly repetitive but sunny and, in a particular context, is endlessly replayable. I quite like it for what it is, but don’t have much interesting to say about it, ergo not reviewing it the first time around.