Though the promise of fame and fortune seems entrancing, it’s obviously not all it’s cracked up to be. Consider the case of Mandy Moore, who was given the spotlight when she was only 15 years old. Her debut album So Real got her to Platinum status, a spot opening for the Backstreet Boys and a hit single in “Candy” (which came bundled with a heavy rotation video that featured the not-yet-of-age Moore behind the wheel of a Volkswagen). But despite her early success, Moore was critically eviscerated and quickly grew tired and bored of the pop star lifestyle. She never really did fit in with the Christina Aguileras and Jessica Simpsons she was often lumped in with, and that was never more evident when she released her third album Coverage on this day in 2003.
Moore has said that she never really got behind any of the music she did in the early part of her career, and while she was still signed to a major label, she slowly tried to break out of the pop starlet universe. Coverage represented her purest expression yet, even though it was an album full of covers. But her song selection was telling, as she focused on classic pop and rock songs from the ’70s and ’80s, including takes on songs by Todd Rundgren, Carole King, Elton John, Joni Mitchell and Cat Stevens. In fact, her cover of XTC’s “Senses Working Overtime” might event top the original. Moore’s music has evolved since the release of Coverage (her marriage to alt-country genius/madman Ryan Adams also helped), but her breakout began with her cover of John Hiatt’s “Have a Little Faith in Me.”