About The Artist
The Set List
Wal-Mart Soundcheck caught up with Mandy Moore at Henson Studios in Hollywood, California, on the release of the actress/singer's fifth studio album, 'Wild Hope.' Folksy and intimate, the disc is a dramatic departure from Moore's trademark pop sounds. Recorded last year in the rustic confines of Woodstock, New York, 'Wild Hope' has Moore going back to basics and following in the footsteps of musical greatness: Joni Mitchell, Carole King and Bette Midler. The talented 22-year-old co-wrote all 12 of the album tracks, imprinting her recent experiences in words and music. The result is an impressive disc that's easily her most personal work to date.
On Recording 'Wild Hope':
The recording of 'Wild Hope' teamed Moore with a talented array of singer-songwriters and stellar industry musicians. Moore says that 'Wild Hope' is the album she's longed to make her entire life - though it meant making some important decisions. In an industry known for packaging young singers as generic product, Mandy was insistent she take control: "It evolved from a place of me wanting to have as much creative control as possible and knowing that I didn't really want to get on stage and sing someone else's words anymore. I couldn't really wrap my head around that. I was also lucky enough to work with a bunch of singer-songwriters that I'm huge fans of. Now that I can call them my friends... it's kind of the ultimate for me."
On The Wind Beneath Her Wings:
'Wild Hope' has a distinct style, one that's more organic sounding than any of her previous efforts. We wondered which artists inspired Moore's new sound. Says Mandy: "I was a huge Bette Midler fan! I also loved Madonna and Janet Jackson but it was all about Bette Midler as a kid. I had a little karaoke machine in my room that I got for Christmas one year. I had a Bette Midler karaoke tape and I would sing 'Wind Beneath My Wings' over and over again. It was on constant rotation."
On Studio Time vs. Live Performance:
As Moore gets ready to take 'Wild Hope' on the road this summer, we wondered which outlet gives the young singer more satisfaction: studio or stage? "I would gravitate towards live because that rush of adrenaline that you get from the crowd can't be duplicated. But being in the studio and sort of finding your groove and figuring out how it's ultimately going to be presented to people...is kind of cool, too. I have to say that making this record was probably the most creative, fulfilling experience I've ever had."
- Amanda Leigh Moore was born April 10, 1984
- Though she has experienced equal success in the worlds of acting and singing, she cites music as her greatest passion
- In 1999, 19-year-old Moore toured with boy band phenomenon The Backstreet Boys to support her debut album, 'So Real'
- She's dated a number of high-profile guys, including 'That '70s Show' star Wilmer Valderrama, tennis star Andy Roddick, actor Zach Braff and "DJ AM" Adam Goldstein
- Her on-screen movie partners are equally as notable. This star has shared screen time with such greats as Diane Keaton ('Because I Said So'), Julie Andrews ('The Princess Diaries'), Susan Sarandon ('Romance & Cigarettes') and Justin Timberlake ('Southland Tales').
- Her favorite musicians include Bette Midler, Elton John and Switchfoot
The first single from 'Wild Hope' is a coming-of-age song that showcases Moore's impressive vocals. Co-written with indie pop-folk duo The Weepies, 'Extraordinary' is also featured in the Lindsay Lohan/Jane Fonda movie, 'Georgia Rule.' 'Wild Hope' is the singer's first album in four years and the lyrics indicate we're in for something extraordinary. She sings: "I was a starling. Nobody's darling. And now I'm ready to be extraordinary..."
The title track from 'Wild Hope' has Moore teaming up again with The Weepies, the folk songwriting team of Steve Tannen and Deb Talan. The result is startling - and one of the album's most progressive tunes. Set to psychedelic-sounding chords and a chorus that's reminiscent of '80s era Bangles, Moore delivers dark lyrics with a haunting hook: "I'm just a hazy girl. Blurring all the edges. Only seeing blue."
Looking Forward To Looking Back
In this clever tale about transforming a broken heart into a positive memory, Moore sings cryptically about an ex-boyfriend with a "house in the Hills." Who could she be talking about? We're unsure - but we'll guess that this sparkling confessional will be a surefire single. Co-written with The Weepies, Moore nails the difficulty of deciding to live with no regrets. "I know you loved me in your own way. I'm fine but I'm not okay. I'm looking forward to looking back on these days..."
All Good Things
"I got so much space now," sings Moore in this bittersweet ballad co-written with The Weepies. "I've got a whole house. With the wind blowing through. It's only somewhere to hide." 'All Good Things' is the second track on 'Wild Hope' and it's one of the album's finest moments. Sounding like a cross between Sheryl Crow and Sarah McLaughlin, the track shows Mandy Moore as all grown up. Putting the confectionary tunes of her teens behind her, she's found a unique sound that's all her own.
Can't You Just Adore Her
For her debut Soundcheck set, Moore saves the most affecting song for last. 'Can't You Just Adore Her' teams the singer with acclaimed songwriter Lori McKenna. ('Wild Hope' contains a number of prolific writing collaborations, including Rachael Yamagata, Canadian chanteuse Chantal Kreviazuk and Michelle Branch.) A heartfelt plea to an ignorant boyfriend, 'Can't You Just Adore Her' is a love song to an unrecognized individual. "When the moon begs the question", she asks: "Will you have the answer yet? Why can't you just adore her?"
Every great artist has a defining moment when they release a career-changing record. 'Wild Hope' is Mandy Moore's moment. Though the record is the actress/singer's fifth studio album, it sounds like the first time we've been introduced to Mandy Moore, the singer. Moore told us she's taking to the road this summer to share the new tunes with fans. In the meantime, go give the affecting and accomplished 'Wild Hope' a spin.
-The Crew at Wal-Mart Soundcheck