Moore than meets the eye

Moore than meets the eye
Mandy Moore finds happiness with a hot new sound and attitude

Contrary to what it might look like – perfect career, gorgeous figure, A-list boyfriends – Mandy Moore readily admits she “doesn’t have it all” and, believe her, she’s just fine with it.

“It’s just not feasible,” she states matter-of-factly after finishing up her last shot of the day for FLARE’s cover shoot, set in the heart of Santa Monica. “To have every facet of your life completely in sync is impossible. You could have a terrific career, your family life could be great, but love-wise it’s just not happening for you. Not having it all is what pushes someone to be better and work harder.”

And hard work is something Moore is definitely no stranger to. Sure, her life seemed perfect when she first burst onto the scene at the tender age of 15, but it wasn’t all cupcakes and daisies. Fresh from releasing her first disc, So Real, in 1999, Moore appeared to be living a dream, traveling the world while taking to the stage as the opening act for the Backstreet Boys. Although the glamour factor was there, many nights of singing her heart out to a bunch of boy-band-obsessed teens screaming, “Where’s AJ?!” also gave her a sense of how fickle pop music can be.

In time, the New Hampshire-born Moore’s So Real – a formulaic bubblegum pop record in the vein of Britney Spears’ …Baby One More Time – shot up the charts. But instead of following in the footsteps of Spears and Christina Aguilera and sexing up her act, Moore kept her belly button under wraps in videos and onstage, playing the wholesome card all the way to the bank. Moore insists, however, there was no card to be played and that her famous girl-next-door persona – which has pretty much lasted through the years – is something that is not premeditated.


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“I’m not trying to fit into any sort of mould or be anyone. There’s no conscious choice to portray myself as a kind of person. I don’t say, ‘Now we’re going to the classy brunette look’ – I just am what I am. I’ve really grown up over these past eight years. I am a lot more tactical when it comes to my choices in clothes and music.”

And thank goodness. The result of this new way of thinking is Wild Hope, her sixth and latest album, which Moore says was born out of a blue period. And although the album came on the heels of her breakup with actor Zach Braff, whom she dated for more than a year after appearing on his hit TV comedy, Scrubs, like any strong woman worth her Manolos, she won’t chalk it all up to him. “I was really down and couldn’t figure out why, and there was nothing really going on in my life that warranted it. I was wondering if I was making the right decisions and I started to ask myself questions: Am I living my life the way I want to? Am I really fulfilled by it?”

The answer was a resounding “no.” After years of dutifully singing lighter pop fare written for her by hired guns, the environmentally conscious beauty (she drives a car fuelled entirely by soybean oil) made the executive decision to walk away from her longstanding relationships with music industry giants Epic and Warner Music Group. Instead, she decided to collaborate with EMI Music and her own management company – The Firm Music – and, after months holed up in a rustic country house-cum-recording studio in Woodstock, N.Y., Wild Hope was born.

The album reveals a more sophisticated, evolved Moore, as her latest single, “Extraordinary,” suggests. No longer content to deliver Britney-fied choruses, she sings from the heart on tracks such as the soulful “Most of Me,” which tells of a broken-hearted girl trying to trust again. Moore wrote or co-wrote all the songs on the album. The last track, “Gardenia,” the result of her collaboration with Canadian songstress Chantal Kreviazuk, is a tear-jerking, curl-up-on-the-couch-and-eat-ice-cream kind of anthem in which she achingly proclaims, “I’m the one who likes to make love on the floor.” There just ain’t nothing bubblegummy about it.

To read the entire article, pick up the June issue of FLARE – on newsstands now!


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