There are so many things to like about Everything You Need: The sophisticated songcraft, the uniquely haunting vocals, and the sense of rootedness to a larger American musical history (Manda demonstrates a healthy respect for blues, country, folk, and rock in equal measure) are some. But most impressive of all is the way in which Manda presents her diversity of musical styles, as she is able use her influences rather than letting them use her.
Not content to be merely derivative, Manda maintains her own voice and makes each song hers. "Thank You," for example, benefits from her unconventional singing style. Her rich, deep, mature vocals (no pop fluff here!) suggest an artist at home with the blues, not one "putting on" the blues. When Manda breaks out the harmonica and walks the path paved by classic rock artists like Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young, on songs like "It Can't Be Wrong" and "Don't You Know," she sounds natural. She has both the songwriting chops and the passion to convincingly pull them off. And then, just when it appears that Manda can be figured out, she throws "Lay Me Down," a modern rock song, into the mix.
Manda is a breath of fresh air in a musical landscape stale with little girls (and boys) making easily consumable (but immediately forgettable) pop trash. If you like good music, real music, give Everything You Need a listen.