1) I Got Myself
2) Confessions
3) I'm Only Sleeping
4) Substance
5) Brothas
6) Come Here Man
7) Diamond in the Rough
8) Loneliness
9) You Need a Woman
10) Hustler
11) Time to Shine
12) Boom Boom

It's not that Miz Mandy's Mandatory is bad; she's got a competent voice. But, really, that's about all she's got going for her. Miz Mandy's music suffers from San Diego anemia, that thinning of the blood and soul that makes one strive to be mediocre. The background music on Mandatory seems only a little aback from Madonna's Ray of Light. On most songs, Miz Mandy bluntly and with little pace change or sophistication raps as well as her white female rapping predecessors...maybe not quite in league with Gwen Stefani.

Bless Miz Mandy for not going the wholly stupid and insulting "Lady Lumps" route that girl "hip-pop" seems to be taking, but is that enough? What does Miz Mandy bring to the table? Her background music ranges from decent funky disco bass and guitar lines to plain irritating synth pop. In "I'm Only Sleeping," she displays an adequate singing voice and melody that seems to be lifted from the Cardigans' "Love Fool." In "Brothas," she feels the need to lecture on equality, community, and unity. Big topics in 1966, but now, 40 years later, it holds about the same entertainment appeal as a 1984 After School Special.

Thirteen years ago, Salt-N-Pepa had a sexually suggestive song ("Shoop") that featured a guest rapper. "Come Here Man" is Miz Mandy's own salacious track that features a guest rapper. Which sums up the CD: pedestrian even by standards set a decade ago.

--- Hometown CD Review 8-3-06


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