Mandy Moore wants to apologize. Those cutesy bubblegum songs that launched her to stardom 10 years ago and are still being played over the speakers at Old Navy? “Yeah,” giggles the 25-year-old stunner, “some of those were pretty crappy.” Thankfully, Mandy has moved on from her glow-stick days of touring with the Backstreet Boys. On her stripped-down 2007 album, Wild Hope, she revealed that her matured musical leanings are more Sarah McLachlan than Miley Cyrus (and also that she “likes to make love on the floor”). And now her latest album, Amanda Leigh (that’s her first and middle name), is an eclectic mix of twangy, earthy sounds not normally associated with pop princesses: harpsichords, clarinets, and steel guitars.
Still, Mandy admits she likes a good pop song. She’ll rock her hit “Candy” from way back, but she reinvigorates it with an acoustic, country twist when she plays it live. What’s not such a hit with her is that song’s video—you remember, the one that awkwardly shows a dancing, lip-glossed 16-year-old Mandy likening her love for a boy to (gulp!) candy. “I just saw that video again and was like, ‘Whoa! What was I thinking?’ I don’t think I had French-kissed a boy yet, which I guess was some good acting on my part,” says Mandy. “At least I wasn’t in a tube top!”
So she’s gorgeous, self-deprecating, and funny, but just to vie for the title of ideal woman, Mandy also professes a love for the head-kickin’, neck-stompin’ UFC. That’s right, the sweet girl next door says her ideal Saturday night involves going to the steel-cage Octagon with her gal pals to root on the face-pummeling pugilists. “It’s the best way for me to get out my aggression,” says Mandy. “The rush of adrenaline, being in an arena with 20,000 screaming people—it’s overwhelming in the best way.” Ideal woman status achieved!
Amanda Leigh hits shelves May 26.