Single Review: Mandy Moore “In My Pocket”

In My Pocket
Album: Mandy Moore
Year: 2001

“In My Pocket” failed on the charts, a fact to which Mandy Moore admitted. She told MTV.com, “It did OK, but it didn’t do as well as we thought it would.” Her image in the music video was a clubber sitting on her throne watching four men perform for her. She did some dancing and felt her face up.

She was trying for an adult audience and couldn’t pull it off. In the music video, she is able to play the demanding yet appreciative role to a tee. However, Moore feeling her face up and acting sexy was awkward to watch. She didn’t seem comfortable.

Image aside, if “In My Pocket” had been released a year later it could’ve been a hit. Her producing team, knowing bubblegum pop was out of fashion, focused on acoustic pop instead. The Meditteran-influenced “In My Pocket” is dance-pop without the vocoder. Written by Emilio Estefan, Jr., Randall Barlow, and Liza Quintana, the single has Moore reassuring her feelings to an elusive guy she likes.

In the first verse, she finds him looking for her, then shying away once she gets close. She knows he’s pretending not to see her and calls him on him not admitting his feelings towards her. (“Among the many muted faces/You try to find me in the spaces…You only move to keep from sinking/You close your eyes as if you’re thinking/Afraid all along/That in my eyes you’re so revealing/you’ll find what you’re needing”).

In the chorus, she tells him she has only her faith in people and opens herself up to him, hoping for the same response in return. She’s willing to take a chance on him. (“Nothing but faith to keep me warm/Well, baby, then I would be broke without it…Slip my heart in your back pocket/All I got to keep you warm”).

In the second verse, she’s tells him she’s afraid, too. She’s been hurt before and doesn’t want it to happen again. However, she’s also insecure she might not been good enough for him,either (“‘I’ve been where you’ve been/Cause some how I’m so afraid the love/Will reveal what you’re made of”).

The strength of “In My Pocket” is music arrangement. The Mediterrean aspects give the single a fresh, progressive feel. It doesn’t sound like it came straight from Cory Rooney (Lindsay Lohan’s “Rumors”, Jennifer Lopez) or Max Martin (Britney Spears). It’s not a teen-pop cliche.

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