MANDY MOORE Coverage (Epic) Rating: NNN
Amid the slew of barely legal foals prancing around the pop-princess steeplechase, I've always preferred Mandy Moore. Neither whorish à la Britney-Xtina, nor obnoxiously blond and virginal like Jessica Simpson, she can sing like a mofo, and she's less forgettable than her brunette peers. Plus I like her glowing moon face. So Coverage is a guilty pleasure. Moore belts her li'l heart out through a sampling of retroish pop hits from Carly Simon to Elton John. The arrangements are remarkably restrained for a big mainstream pop album, save for the laughable faux-sexy take on Blondie's One Way Or Another and the schmaltz of Joe Jackson's Breaking Us In Two. The only weird thing is the song selection: Moore's too young to remember these 70s AM radio hits. Who chose them, her mom?