Pop music fans, prepare yourselves. Not only are early ‘00s queens Gwen Stefani, Ashanti and Fergie prepping new music for our nostalgic pleasure, but we now have one more throwback fave to add to the list: THE Mandy Moore.
And that’s great news, because Mandy is one of the more underrated artists to emerge from the teen pop boom of the late ‘90s. When she burst onto the scene with her infectious bubblegum hit “Candy,” she was written off by many as a Britney/Christina clone, and spent the first chunk of her career being overshadowed by those peers.
But while they were busy trying to out-"Dirrrty" each other and making scandalous tabloid headlines, Mandy kept churning out solid music, further separating herself from a pack she never really belonged in. Her 2001 self-titled album is an oft-forgotten pop gem, and she followed it up with a genre-bending discography that proved her chops as a vocalist and a songwriter.
Unfortunately, Mandy hasn’t released an album since 2009’s Amanda Leigh, but we’ve now been promised by the 31-year-old herself that more tunes are on the way. This week, she tweeted a link to a BuzzFeed post about her music with the comment, “Ha! I’m working on it!” And earlier this month, she further teased a new project in an interview with Times of India:
“I’ve been working on music steadily for the last couple of years,” she said. “I guess 2016 will be the re-emergence of my music. That side of my life has been dormant for too long in my opinion.”
UMM SAME, GIRL. Because you know what comes with more Mandy music? More Mandy videos! And this girl had some of the best, sweetest and sultriest around. So to prepare ourselves for the next coming of Mandy, we’ve ranked all 11 of her official videos. Check it out:
“Have a Little Faith in Me” (2003)
For what it’s worth, Mandy looks radiant, gorgeous and really happy here. But this one’s kind of a dud, as we simply see her stroll through a cartoon-drawn world — which unfortunately sounds a lot cooler than it actually is. Womp, womp.
“Walk Me Home” (1999)
Mandy’s follow-up to her breakout hit “Candy” was this sweet, come-hither ballad. She looks positively angelic in the vid, which finds her perched atop a vintage movie theater and shooting moody glances at the camera. She and Eric Lively (a.k.a. Blake’s cute bro) ice skate together and go to a premiere of a fictional movie called “Ice Blue,” which dictates the snowy, wintry vibe here. Sadly, the whole thing’s kind of a snooze and we don’t actually get to see if the dude walked her home in the end. C’mon, man… she doesn’t wanna go all the way alone.
“I Wanna Be with You” (2000)
With its gorgeous, sweeping melodies, this ballad’s a stunner. And the video racks up major points for using footage from the underrated ballet rom com “Center Stage.” In fact, one of the movie’s leading men is Mandy’s crush in the vid, but they don’t even end up together — WTF?!
“I Could Break Your Heart Any Day of the Week” (2009)
Mandy’s most recent music video (released a whole six years ago!) is for a super fun pop jam, but the majority of the clip isn’t actually too exciting, as our glammed-up girl just hangs out and watches people do karate and mixed martial arts. Thankfully, it ends with the money shot to end all money shots: Mandy kicking a dude right in the balls. Oh, but it’s not just any dude: it’s UFC fighter Chuck Liddell. BOOM!
This single from her 2007 folk-leaning Wild Hope is cute in every way, and so is the clip. Visually, it’s pretty neat — multiple Mandys are stacked on top of one another, way high in the sky, as she sings about being extra-effin’-ordinary. Kind of bizarre, but also pretty cool!
“So Real” (2000)
This one starts out looking like a cheesy AF Levis commercial, with Mandy frolicking in a lush field of daisies and scribbling in her diary while singing about her “innocence.” Cringe, cringe, cringe. But keep watching — our doe-eyed girl eventually wanders into a forested fantasyland where her hair is crimped, a squad of backup dancers unleashes a storm of 2000-appropriate choreography, and she writes in the air with a magical red daisy. Intriguing stuff!
This one will hit you hard. Remember how (spoiler alert) Mandy’s character Jamie dies at the end of “A Walk To Remember,” leaving Landon a heartbroken widower? Well, this vid basically picks up where the tearjerker ended, with Shane West himself walking out of the movie theater. He goes home, tortures himself by watching videos of him and his girl in happier days, and then peers through a telescope, just like Jamie taught him. What he sees is Mandy/Jamie looking like a galactic goddess in the sky as stars explore behind her in heaven. Cue all the tears.
“Drop the Pilot” (2003)
This was the era in Mandy’s career when she switched gears, abandoning her teen pop roots and embracing a more mature sound for her ‘03 covers album, Coverage. For the first time, Mandy isn’t lovesick — her voice is stronger and more confident than ever before as she sultrily declares, “I’m the one you need.” Matching that newfound power is a revamped image, complete with a short ‘do and a white pantsuit (or a “white power suit” as Ilana from “Broad City” would say) that screams “I’m the boss, betch.”
This video is a little crazy, which is actually perfect because that’s how we all act when we’re crushing on someone. With her all-black ensemble and an actual band behind her at the beginning, Mandy looks way edgier than we’d seen her before. But things start to get a little trippy when the floor sinks beneath her and she’s transported to different set-ups. This is Mandy at her silliest; jumping on beds and playing with monkeys (!!!) before ultimately rocking one hell of a red leather jacket that would’ve made “Thriller”-era Michael Jackson jealous.
As the first time we ever laid eyes on Miss M, the “Candy” video is naturally among the very best of the best. This is late ‘90s teen pop at its purest, complete with shots of Mandy listening to a portable CD player, driving a Volkswagen Beetle (a.k.a. the car every girl wanted at the time) and innocently flirting with a cute skater boy. It ultimately ends with Mandy and her girls busting moves at the bottom of a skate bowl while skaters whiz around them — which frankly seems pretty hazardous, but makes for a cool visual.
“In My Pocket” (2001)
But as iconic as “Candy” was, the neon-coated eccentricity of “In My Pocket” is just too mystical to resist. The sexy track’s Middle Eastern rhythms and techno-R&B beats come to life in the coolest-looking nightclub ever. Fire blowers and belly dancers roam free as Mandy holds court on a throne, watching an Aladdin lookalike break it down. The edginess and defiance are just too perfect here, making it our pick for the best Mandy video ever.
What do you think: Do you agree with these rankings? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!