Single Review: Mandy Moore “Have A Little Faith In Me”

Have a Little Faith In Me
Album: Coverage
Year: 2003

Most cover albums aim to improve the originals. But Mandy Moore was aware of the fact that the songs that she covered on “Coverage” were classics and that they were going to be the ones remebered. Moore told that “I knew it’s risky to go out there and cover the likes of Joni Mitchell and Cat Stevens and Elton John, but I’m not going out there and recording this music saying, ‘This is my version. This is the better version.’ I love these songs. I’m honored that I have this opportunity to go into the studio and be a part of them and put my own personal little stamp maybe on them, but the originals stand for themselves. They are just timeless.”

But Moore did a splendid job covering the songs on the album. “Drop the Pilot” bests Joan Armatarndig while “Breaking Us In Two” (Joe Jackson) and “Can We Still Be Friends” (Todd Rudgren) has a different emotional point of view.

Her first single from the album was a cover of John Hiatt’s “Have a Little Faith In Me”. Like the original, the song opens with a piano. However, there is some shuffling in the background and a saxophone is added. The overall point of the song is there: gaining the trust of the person that Moore and Hiatt love. However, the tone is changed. Moore’s is passionate and direct whereas Hiatt’s is comforting and pleading.

In the first verse, she sings that her boyfriend can look for guidance and know that she will be there (“When the road gets dark/And you can no longer see/Just let my love throw a spark/And have a little faith in me”).She also lets him know that he can lean on her when he’s hurting (“And when the tears you cry/Are all you can believe/Just give these loving arms a try/And have a little faith in me”).

In the second verse, she tells him that he can talk to her about anything, even if he is afraid (“When your secret heart/Cannot speak so easily/Come here baby/From a whisper start”) She coos the “come here baby” and sounds as though she is ready to make out with him that second. In Hiatt’s version he is encouraging, which is the approriate tone Moore should’ve taken. Like Hiatt, she begins to belt “and when your back’s against the wall/Just turn around and you will see/I will catch, I will catch your fall/just have a little faith in me”.

She is upfront and fearless as she tells him “I’ve been loving your such a long time/and expecting nothing in return/just so you would have a little faith in me/time is our friend/’cause for us there is no end/and all I want is for you to have a little faith in me.” Iin Hiatt’s version, he is woeful and it seems as though this is his last chance.

While this is not the best track on the Coverage album, Moore is at least making an effort to switch things around and give the song a new intrepretation.


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