Music

We Need To Talk About Mandy Moore

Missing you like candy, Mandy.

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It’s time for Mandy Moore to stage a musical comeback.

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If you don’t count Disney soundtracks — and you shouldn't — it’s been six years since Mandy Moore’s last album. Since putting out Amanda Leigh in 2009, the singer-slash-actress has appeared on television, voiced a Disney princess, ended her marriage to Ryan Adams, and become the living embodiment of #InstagramGoals. But while she didn't disappear, her music career fell by the wayside. “That side of my life has been dormant for too long,” Mandy recently told the Times Of India, promising that 2016 will be “the re-emergence of my music.”

1. Her hit “Candy” is every bit as iconic as Britney and Christina’s early singles.

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Say the word "candy" to a '00s kid and there's a 50/50 chance they'll start singing the chorus to this song.

3. While "Candy" is the most memorable of Mandy's teen-pop hits, "I Wanna Be With You" is an equally enjoyable sugar rush.

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4. And "Crush" is as charming today as it was in 2001.

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5. Her early pop albums were endearingly age-appropriate.

While she gets lumped in with Britney and Christina, Mandy’s music mostly side-stepped the lolita thing. When she burst on to the pop scene at 15, she mostly focused on holding hands with her crush and convincing him to walk her home. A couple of years later she released her “grown up” and “sensual” third album, but even at her most explicit Mandy was super relatable. Case and point: the shimmery “17,” which is all about Mandy deciding to sleep with her bad-boy boyfriend. It’s more anxious than sexy but that's part of its appeal.

6. It's impossible to get through "Only Hope" without a surge of '00s-related feelings.

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7. In retrospect, releasing a covers album was a really clever way to pivot away from dance pop.

Epic Records

Somewhere between practice and palate cleanser, Coverage was a low-stakes way for Mandy to re-introduce herself. The album made it clear she what kind of artist she wanted to be and bought her time to develop that sound.

8. And her cover of “Have A Little Faith In Me” now seems like a plea for patience while she recalibrated her sound.

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9. The only problem with her 2007 folk-pop album Wild Hope is that it’s no longer available.

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It’s a total gem of an album about the best and worst parts of being in your early twenties and it’s not available on Spotify, Apple Music, or iTunes — it's not even on Tidal. The only way to enjoy Wild Hope if you don't already own it is to stream a cruddy, LQ version on YouTube but it's worth suffering through the digital fuzziness to experience tunes like "Looking Forward To Looking Back" and "Gardenia."

10. Her cover of “Umbrella” is almost as good as Rihanna's original.

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To be clear: "almost as good" in this case is still sublime.

11. Her underrated sixth album, Amanda Leigh, sounds like a perfect summer afternoon.

Storefront Recordings

Fortunately, this one is available on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal.

12. And the album's lead single “I Could Break Your Heart Any Day Of The Week” is proof that she didn’t abandon her sense of fun when she ditched pop music.

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13. And finally: this sultry, full-circle rendition of "Candy" she used to perform at her live shows.

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It's everything.