1999 delivered four blondes who steered their way into the collective music consciousness. In the first wave we had Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, the second wave included Jessica Simpson and Mandy Moore. While two of the four became commercially viable, one other sonically faceless, Moore's sweet faced musings seemed pleasant if unassuming ("Candy"). When she reached her second, eponymous record in 2001 the turbulent struggle of her musical identity trying to surface was heard. There were promising results in the exotic force of "In My Pocket" and the wistful "Cry."
The key ingredient to Mandy Moore's fascinating musical presence is her voice; inviting, genuine, pretty, and possessing enough distinction without overpowering its audience.
2003 bore the official rise of her creative phoenix with Coverage, her third album. Inspired by the songbooks of XTC, Elton John, Blondie, and Carly Simon, Coverage beamed with energetic, but reverent takes. The songs were delivered with sides of guitar, strings, various jazz related structures, in other words just great, musically inclined pop.
Moving closer to this sound of pop, Wild Hope (2007) reached into her own mind proving her talent for songwriting. Songs that dealt with the healing and damaging effects of relationships ("Can't You Just Adore Her," "All Good Things") and self-affirmations ("Extraordinary," "Gardenia") filled Wild Hope. With her fifth long player, Amanda Leigh, it all comes home. The plush spaciousness of the arrangements on Coverage and the probing prose of Wild Hope all converge into one space.
"I Could Break Your Heart Any Day of the Week"
Directed By: Ghost Town Media
Listen to the fairytale "Merrimack River," or the stinging sing-a-along of "I Could Break Your Heart Any Day of the Week," the sparks behind Mandy Moore's artistic arrival are now flames. Records like Amanda Leigh will have the injustice of being overlooked in today's market. Hopefully if your eyes have caught this, it will convince you to give Ms. Moore a try. She is worth the time.-QH
[Editor's Note: For more information on Mandy Moore, visit: http://www.mandymoore.com Amanda Leigh in stores and online retailers now.-QH]