This album is open and honest – artists through the years have told their story in verse, in music and image. Mandi does all three with this album. I have to go back to the likes of Carly Simon, Carole King or others to find a woman who tells you so much about herself through her music.
100% Mandi, the lyrics are pure poetry – some warm, some raw, some cool, some in your face, and some filled with hope and energy. She spans the full spectrum in this journey through a range of sentiments — ‘pay attention I’m talking here’ to ‘I don’t need you or anything else’ to ‘you’ve hurt me beyond belief’ to “I’m still standing and I’ve grown’ to ‘here are my beliefs like ’em or not’ to ‘my soul is strong and alive’ to ‘I have friends and the my best friend is me’ to ‘live today and you’re in heaven’ to ‘take heart everyone, nothing can defeat you.’
The titles of the tracks give hints (such as Chocolate, Heaven, My Sweet Dream, Cuckoo) , but you never know the power of her feeling until you listen to the actual words. The theme(s) is/are universal – everyone has experienced what she is writing and singing about. However, she reveals herself so openly and completely that you cannot help seeing yourself and simultaneously be invited to go deep into yourself.
The album cover art is an unnerving self-portrait. At once disturbing and mysterious. Why the laces for a woman who is unleashed – listen and decide/answer for yourself. The answer is her words and auditory emotion.
This is not a one and done listen. The lyrics, all provided in full on the album sleeve, are a stand-alone powerful sentiment. I could have simply read the lyrics with instrumentation and been satisfied. Her songs and emotions are so evocative and convincing that music is superfluous. But, put them together and you have an experience you will not soon forget.
Prediction – you will love this or you won’t, there’s no middle of the road on this one. But, 100% guarantee you will be moved!