It’s hard to believe, but it’s been an entire decade since Mandy Moore released her last album, Amanda Leigh. During many of those years, she was married to someone who I will not name and I couldn’t fathom why he didn’t produce an album for her. After all, her last two albums had been fantastic singer-songwriter fare so he should’ve taken her seriously as an artist. Of course, now we know why they never made an album together, Mandy having revealed that he was abusive and always put her down as a musician. It’s really too bad because they could’ve made great music together, but that’s in the past and today Mandy has finally released a brand new single, “When I Wasn’t Watching.” You can debate whether or not it was worth the wait, but I see no point in that. All that matters is that it’s a bright and shiny breath of fresh air that fits well with her singer-songwriter albums and is also as catchy as anything on top 40 radio right now.
These days, Mandy is one of the best actresses on television, starring on the critically acclaimed, hit show, This is Us, which is about to begin its eagerly awaited fourth season. As a longtime fan of her music, it’s my hope that fans of the show will check out the new single and find it to be a spell-binding earworm like I do. And that she’ll release a new album in the near future and her music will finally get the attention and accolades that it deserves. In the meantime, one would be wise to check out her latter three albums as they’re really quite wonderful and a far cry from the music she made when she was just a young teen. Besides, she left that behind a long time ago. In fact, way back in 2003, she released the album Coverage, a record that found her doing a wide array of classic songs like “One Way or Another,” “Can We Still Be Friends,” and “Anticipation.” That was when critics finally started taking her seriously and it revealed that she had great tastes and should be capable of writing some excellent songs herself. And, indeed, she was capable, as evidenced by her following two albums, 2007’s Wild Hope and 2009’s Amanda Leigh. If you’re a fan of female singer-songwriters like Meiko, Lights and Lissie, you’d do well to check them out. I’d give both of those records an A+, which is what I give “When I Wasn’t Watching.”