Amanda Leigh by Mandy Moore
The Amanda Leigh Moore we hear singing on Mandy Moore’s new somewhat self-titled record, “Amanda Leigh,” is a far cry from the blonde teenage who giggled her way through the Princess Diaries in 2001. It’s easy to hear the ways in which she’s matured as a singer and a songwriter since she first hit the industry, and this makes her new album a lot more exciting to listen to than the slicky-produced pop she used to sing.
The album is said to be inspired by Moore and producer/co-writer, Mike Viola’s love for singer-songwriters like Paul McCartney, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Joni Mitchell, and this influence is immediately audible on the record’s opening track, “Merrimack River.” It’s an acoustic tune, with a lilting rhythm that carries you off into the song from the first listen.
The album’s first single, “I Could Break Your Heart Any Day Of The Week,” is a happy high point on the record, with an alt-country feel as Mandy sings that “those calendar girls, they got nothing on me.” It’s a bite-size, fan-friendly tune that’ll be a sing-along song for young girls everywhere.
“Pocket Philosopher” almost has the feel of a happy show tune and, according to Mandy herself, “resonates with the excitement of meeting someone new and wanting to stop time so you could figure them out a little more.” It’s got a classic beat and a build up to a big chorus that suits Mandy’s music here perfectly.
The album’s energy slows down mid-way through it with the very quiet tunes, “Song About Home” and “Everblue,” but picks up again at the end with top tunes, “Nothing Everything” and “Bug.”
Moore’s work still has cutesy, pop overtones, but as far as her own repertoire goes, this is a sincere and impassioned collection of songs that show how happy the young singer is to get back to working on and loving her music. If you’re a fan, you’ll definitely love Amanda Leigh; and if you’re new to her work, this is a happy album that’ll bring you good vibes throughout, if you’re looking for a light listen.