When I was about 15 years old, I hear “Candy”, the first single from Mandy Moore’s debut album “So Real” and I was far from impressed. Upon seeing the music video, I was even less so. The girl was skinny and gawky and trying way too hard to be sexy. Vocally, although she couldn’t match the powerhouse of teen contemporary Christina Aguilera, she was obviously superior to Britney Spears. But alas, Spears’ rampant sexuality, coupled with the fact that “Candy” is quite possibly one of the worst songs ever recorded, had me ready to write Mandy off as a soon-to-be one-hit wonder.
Until I heard “I Wanna Be With You”. To this very day, the song still feels new and fresh and I still feel like a 16 year old with her first crush whenever I hear it. Not to mention the fact that this sweet, guitar-laced melody was the perfect platform to showcase Mandy Moore’s breathy vocals, vocals which became stronger as she got older. Nowadays, Mandy still records music, even though she’s managed to hold her own as an indie film actress. Her songs, many of which she’s penned, have more substance. She is no longer competing for the spotlight, choosing instead to create her own. And this song was the one that made me, and those around the world who still want more of Moore, to take notice of her talent.