Mandy Moore’s career trajectory continues to fascinate. While the angel-voiced singer may be more famous these days for her acting and recent surprise marriage to Ryan Adams, the one-time sugary sweet pop princess has made an active effort to shun her mainstream roots in her music. In the process, she’s become much more interesting as an artist. First came a cover album (called, uh, Coverage) that featured a track by idiosyncratic British act XTC, of all bands. Then came her last album, Wild Hope, where she collaborated with talents like The Weepies and Rachael Yamagata.
Moore seems to be traveling further down that same road on her new album, Amanda Leigh (due May 26). The bouncy first single, “I Could Break Your Heart Any Day of the Week”, hit iTunes this week – and sounds a bit like a lighter, softer, folksier Kelly Clarkson. (Nothing wrong with that!) But snippets of other tracks off her forthcoming album, which have been added to her website, are more left field. Moore has been rather open about her struggles with depression, and that manifests itself on a song called “Everblue.” (“Clearly, I was in a bit of a deep, dark place and although the song is heavy, I feel like it has a comfortable, resigned sadness,” she wrote on her website.)
Amanda Leigh will probably not be the album to catapult Moore back into the mainstream. And I’m more than fine with that. But what do you all think? Do you like Moore’s new single (which you can listen to after the jump)? Do you like the direction she has taken her music, or do you wish she’d return to bubblegum, radio-friendly pop?