Mandy Moore's new album 'Silver Landings' speaks about self-doubt and her struggle to find her voice again

In the past, the singer's marital struggles and label issues brought her singing career to a halt and had caused her to doubt herself as an artist


                            Mandy Moore's new album 'Silver Landings' speaks about self-doubt and her struggle to find her voice again
Mandy Moore (Getty Images)
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Mandy Moore began her career as one of the darlings of the pop scene, but label issues and an emotionally taxing and abusive marriage that ended in a divorce brought the singer's thriving music career to a stifling halt. But with 'Silver Landings', her first album in 11 years, Moore is ready to use her voice again.

The album begins with a Fleetwood Mac-style tune called 'I'd Rather Lose', setting the tone for a classic pop album with country-rock influences. The song was released as the first single from the album last year. Another track, 'When I Wasn't Watching' was released with an accompanying music video as well, and 'Save a Little for Yourself' was dropped with an accompanying music video earlier this month along with an announcement for a North American tour to promote 'Silver Landings' that kicks off on March 20 from Pittsburgh - the home of Rebecca Pearson, the character Moore plays on the show 'This Is Us'.

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Mandy Moore arrives at the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019, in Los Angeles, California (Getty Images)

For Moore, Pearson is a character dear to her heart, and she credits the role with helping her find the spark she needed to push her to make and release music again. 'Silver Landings' initially began in 2012 as a project with Moore's then-husband Ryan Adams, but in an interview last year Moore claimed Adams was emotionally abusive and caused her to doubt herself as an artist. The planned album and the marriage both eventually dissolved in 2017, but it still didn't dampen Moore's desire to make music again. And when she found herself with a new collaborator in 2018 - her current husband and lead singer of the indie rock band 'Dawes', Taylor Goldsmith - Moore knew it was time to put out new music again.

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Lyrically, this album sees Moore at her most honest and vulnerable. She speaks about a range of topics, addressing all the ups and downs that have led to the creation of this album, including the difficulty with finding the right space to create from.

The pop star released her album via Verve Forecast Records on March 6, but her decision to sign on with them was not a light one. "I had slight PTSD from being on labels in the past," Moore has said, adding,"But Verve truly feels like it's run by a bunch of deeply creative people who aren't necessarily just concerned with the numbers game."

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And while among friends and family, Moore found the right place to be able to tell her story.

Mandy Moore and Taylor Goldsmith perform at 20th Century Fox Television and NBC Present "This Is Us" FYC Event at John Anson Ford Amphitheatre on June 06, 2019, in Hollywood, California (Getty Images)

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"If the only way to win is to break all the rules, I'd rather lose," sings Moore on the first track on the album. Speaking about 'I'd Rather Lose' the singer has said, "We live in a cultural moment of ‘win at all costs’ and that may afford small victories in the short term but this song tries to explore the idea of trying to live according to your moral compass, whatever that might be. It’s easy to run out of patience and give in to temptations on any given day, but it seems like the only way of achieving the kind of long term peace of mind we’re all looking for, requires a recommitment to the concepts of honesty and integrity that ground us. On a macro level, that’s what this song aims to hit on—abandoning some game you never subscribed to in the first place.”

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On 'Save a Little for Yourself', Moore sings about "When someone gets the best of you / Don't let them take the rest of you...You've got a lotta love, enough to go 'round / Save a little for yourself."

And these lyrics really define what this album is about - self-love and being true to who you are.

Speaking about the lead single 'Fifteen' Moore has said, "It’s been a full circle journey to embrace who I was as a teenager starting off in this industry and forgive my past self for judging her so harshly. For years, I apologized for the creative output of that time but in the making of this new collection of music, I was able to process so much and have come to have great affection for that young girl, that part of me, because she’s the reason I’m here today."

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Moore has often spoken about being embarrassed by her earlier work but later learned to love the 15-year-old girl who was simply living her dream.

Mandy Moore attends the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019, in Los Angeles, California (Getty Images)

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'When I Wasn't Watching' is a beautiful pop-rock ballad that alludes to her feeling of losing herself and not knowing how to find her way back, while 'Forgiveness' says that in trying to be good enough for someone else, Moore was unable to be good enough for herself. These songs seem to be directed at Moore's ex-husband as well as her previous labels, and really encompass what it can feel like when you try to be the best for everyone else but yourself. 'Stories Reminding Myself of Me' follows right after and paints a beautiful picture of how Moore did finally find her way back to herself - and by extension, singing.

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'If That's What It Takes' talks about the hard work that goes into a loving relationship. The album ends on 'Silver Landings' with Moore singing that she needs to "look in", saying she's ready to find the rest of herself that once went missing.

The album has already opened to positive reviews from fans and critics alike.

'Silver Landings' is Moore's return to form, vocally, musically, and lyrically. Her artistry has been sorely missed on the pop scene, and it will be quite a treat to watch where she goes from here.

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