By Helin Jung
January 31, 2007 at 09:37 PM EST

When it was mentioned last week that Mandy Moore had said she felt “bad that people wasted their money on such trite, blah pop music,” I thought to myself, really? What about “Candy,” “Crush,” and “Cry“? Then, I found out that Mandy has an album, Wild Hope, due out in May this year, and she’s put her first single “Extraordinary” up on her MySpace page. This begged the question: Did Mandy feel bad too soon, or was her new stuff going to be better than blah?

I went on a quest to find out. I was greeted at Mandy’s page by her face, mouth slightly open. (She reminded me of Robin Wright Penn’s character Jenny in Forrest Gump—the hippie days, to be precise, except with brown hair.) The song started to play. I was not ready for the John Mayer pastiche that was about to stream into my ears lightly, but Mandy kept telling me that she was ready, ready, ready to be extraordinary.

I wondered, why is this song so lame—I mean, blank? How can shesound this young and underdeveloped when she sounded somewhat mature onher 2003 covers album? The press release on the website stated that shewrote her own music (surprise!). There was also this line: Mandy Mooreis “a young woman figuring out life and where she fits into thescheme of things about love, relationships, and about beingdisappointed.” I suddenly remembered—oh, yeah. She’s 22 years old.

There’s still the rest of the album to consider, but the songsuggests that Mandy’s going through a quarter-life crisis and is yetwaiting for an identity to form. As for the apology, I give her creditfor her candor, minus points for her premature use of the past tense.What do you think, PopWatchers? Is Mandy Moore’s new music”Extraordinary” or just extra ordinary?