More of Moore on latest release

Mandy Moore Wild Hope Grade: B+

Mandy Moore does not do a complete 180-degree turn with her latest album, Wild Hope, which hits stores tomorrow. It’s a more graceful 90 degrees.

In her first original album in six years, she moves from the bubble-gum pop genre, singing about love that’s as addictive as candy, to a country/rock-influenced type of pop in which she croons about a girl who likes to eat chocolate early in the morning and drink her coffee late at night.

The songs are new territory for Moore, who in the past couple of years has released albums featuring her greatest hits or covers of old favorites.

Gone are the computerized and sickly-sweet songs about after-school crushes. They’ve been replaced by real music with real instruments and real-life lyrics. It’s a refreshing and surprising album.

The song “Latest Mistake” showcases the change in her lyrics: “As far as I can tell / You’re really good at talking / So I think it’s time you let me know / I’m just your latest mistake.” She doesn’t try to mask her voice with computerization like other artists, but instead sings within her range. However, the passion Moore invokes is more than enough to take her music to the next level.

This passion probably stems from the fact that she actually co-wrote several of the album’s songs, collaborating with artists Chantal Kreviazuk, Rachael Yamagata, Lori McKenna and the Weepies.

“I really haven’t had the personal involvement on anything in the past, not like I do with this one,” said Moore on her official Web site MandyMoore.com.

She has remembered what so many other pop artists have forgotten – that her original audience has aged with her. Moore has matured over the years, and so have the teenyboppers who ate up her first few albums, such as So Real and I Wanna Be With You.

“Teen pop was a great platform to start from,” said Moore on her Web site. “I’m not someone who regrets anything, but in those days, I was just given songs and told to go into the studio and record them.”

Moore has conquered something that all the Britneys and Jessicas have tried to do – successfully handle both movie and music careers. Moore has already appeared in 13 feature films, and her next acting venture,

License to Wed, opens July 3. The film also stars funnymen Robin Williams and The Office’s John Krasinski.

In her latest single, Moore proclaims that she is ready to be “Extraordinary.” However, with the versatility she now possesses, this former pop princess is already far more than that.

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