Snap Judgment: Mandisa's new single

Mandisa_lPretty much anyone who gets remotely close to the American Idol stage can count on scoring a record deal these days. (Need I remind you of Season 6 auditioner Ian Benardo’s recent debut release?) And yet it’s taken season 5’s Mandisa, who made it all the way to the show’s top 10, more than a year to get around to putting out her first single. Still, she’s reaped at least one advantage from that delay: The controversy surrounding certain unpleasantly narrow-minded statements she made last spring seems to have more or less died down since then. And now that we can listen to her new single "Only the World" with fresh ears, the time is just right for a proper PopWatch Snap Judgment! Check it out for yourself at Mandisa’s MySpace and click through to see our first impression after the jump.

Mandisa still had enough fans left to propel "Only the World" straight to the top of Billboard‘s singles sales chart this week. (Though not nearly enough to get her comparable spots on the more important Hot 100 and Hot 100 Airplaycharts.) I’m not sure, however, why anyone other than a diehard Fandisawould give this more than a couple spins. It’s got a sweet, sunnymelody, and Mandisa’s voice rings out clear and on-key throughout. Butthose motivational lyrics ("It’s only the world I’m living in/It’s onlytoday I’ve been given/There ain’t no way I’m giving in") sound likethey come from a rejected Hallmark card, and the half-hearted rhythmguitar licks and bobbing bassline provide approximately 95 percent lessfunk than, say, Maroon 5’s last single. As Mandisa herself puts it inthe first verse, "nothin’ new here’s/What I do here."

I’d be surprised if this song has any legs on the pop charts; Iguess I could see it replacing Natasha Bedingfield’s "Unwritten" as ago-to feel-good tune for romantic comedy trailers. Then again, I’mprobably not exactly Mandisa’s target audience. How does it sound toyou, PopWatchers?

Comments (42 total) Add your comment
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  • Ep Sato

    Does anyone else think Mandisa kind of looks like Jennifer Tilly in that photo?

  • Anonymous

    Ugh, I had no idea she was such a homophobe. She should keep those feelings to herself. Here’s hoping her single dies a quick, painful death.

  • D

    The irony is that this is exactly the type of song that would most likely get remixed and played over and over in gay nightclubs. You see Mandisa(!), there’s this saying about not biting the hand that could potentially feed you…

  • Kent

    Homophobic trash. Disgusting.

  • Sean

    Mandisa should’ve really known better than to piss off the gay community if she seriously wanted a singing career. If a big fat black lady wants to be a big fat star, she NEEDS gays on her side. As echoed earlier, here’s hoping her single and her career dies a quick death.

  • jason

    our judging of mandisa is worse than her judging of us (yep, i am gay). we go day to day being discriminated against and just throw it right back. THAT IS NOT HOW IT WORKS people!!!! you believe what you want, she can believe hers. i don’t agree with what she says, but i won’t let that affect what i think about the music. maybe i’m alone here, but that’s what i think about that. as far as the song goes, it’s light and breezy, just like a summer song should be. i’ll give it a generous B-

  • michelle

    Wow! The question was “How did the song sound?”
    These comments are what I see as being hateful, personal attacks that have nothing to do with the music.
    I think her song sounded great!

  • junior

    I don’t really care how she feels about gay people (do I get to keep my gay card?) because Jennifer Hudson and many other performers feel kinda the same way (maybe not as strongly). My problem is that she can’t see past sexuality to perform at an event with mostly gay people. You don’t have to be in the Pride Parade, but at least have respect for all the people who like your music.

  • junior

    oh, I forgot, the song is bad, like really bad…

  • Lene

    That was completely different than what I’d expected. And not in a good way. Her voice deserves more than a pile of generic pop that anyone could sing.

  • Team Me

    Hatred and discrimination coming from a group of people? How shocking!
    Give the hatred a rest its about the song. Clearly the ‘gays’ are like everybody else, blinded by their own ignorance and hatred but condemn everyone else for the same thing.

  • Jonathan

    she definitley has a good voice, but does she ever sing the chorus? she seemed to just be belting out harmonies the whole time

  • Sally

    Thanks Michelle – seems everyone including the writer forgot the question is “what about the song”? Forget about her political and sexuality feelings; there are lot of artists who feel the same way about gay people & other gay artists and I for one am sick of the Gaynazi patrol trying to bring everybody down. A lot of black people are just “tolerant” we don’t have to love gay people, which is what they want us to do – LOVEMELOVEMELOVEME!
    I’m glad she finally got something out and it’s a nice little song. Not great, not hip hop but it has appeal to a niche crowd. And betcha they sing it next season on Idol.

  • AJ

    Sorry to go OT here, but sine Junior started it: I don’t believe J.Hud has given anything but thanks and love to her “gay boys,” the gay fans who have supported her, and promised in an interview with a gay mag that there would be material just for them on her upcomign album. And I saw her on a cooking talk show (Rachel Ray or Martha Stewart) with her “personal chef,” a longtime childhood male friend…who seemed pretty gay to me. Don’t lump J.Hud and Mandisa together.

  • lajfsdfas

    What the hell are you talking about, Team Me?!!!

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