I purchased this album about a month ago after only hearing the first single, “Extraordinary,” and it hasn’t come out of my car yet. It always seems like the best thing to listen to when you want to reflect on things and be with yourself. It’s not loud or ostentatious–it’s as Mandy promised it to be–a very personal record, and her self-proclaimed “last shot.”
It’s quiet “girl music” if nothing else. Perfect for reflecting on a breakup and promising yourself new beginnings, Mandy’s breathy vocals are rich and raw throughout. The lyrics are beautiful and exposed. There’s the haunting self-titled track, Wild Hope (“walk alone/Through the crowded streets into the fading gray/Here and gone/Like a decoration for the holiday”); the achy self-ballad Gardenia (“I’m the one who likes Gardenia/I’m the one who likes to make love on the floor/I don’t want to hang up the phone yet/It’s been good/Getting to know me more”).
Wild Hope has received a spectrum of reviews, but at least she can be credited with a serious musical effort (after desperately shedding her prior sugar-sweet teen-pop image) and her talents commended. Above all else, this is an album to be listened to and cherished, because it makes you think, and perhaps more importantly, encourages you to feel. Far from generic, Wild Hope is infused with sparse acoustic accompaniment and a bit of vintage flavor, maybe Carly Simon or Sheryl Crow’s earlier recordings. There’s something breezy and special about the quality of this album, you want your windows down and the volume up, but it’s not the typical tunes you’d crank–but it all still works somehow, beautifully at that.
Any young woman who has been through a bitter struggle of relationships and self-discovery will relate to these lyrics. Though bittersweet at times, the tone of the album is hopeful and that’s what makes it so listenable. There’s an authenticty to every track, Mandy wrote all the songs herself. It’s an emotional, specific album that you have to be in the mood to listen to. I can honestly predict that men will generally not understand this piece, and that’s just fine…some things we need to keep just for ourselves.
|2||All Good Things|
|3||Slummin’ In Paradise|
|4||Most Of Me|
|5||Few Days Down|
|6||Can’t You Just Adore Her?|
|9||Nothing That You Are|