Despite a quality recording history that includes a handful of shoulda-been-smashes, Mandy Moore has been viewed by the world at large as a teen-pop also-ran to Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.

Despite a quality recording history that includes a handful of shoulda-been-smashes, Mandy Moore has been viewed by the world at large as a teen-pop also-ran to Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. On this soundtrack to her first major feature film, she makes one more bid to become the pop star she deserves to be. Besides the sweet lead single, "Cry" (also featured on her recent eponymous Epic set), A Walk to Remember presents Moore as a performer capable of infusing such radio-ready ballads as the haunting "Only More" and gently percussive "It's Gonna Be Love" with youthful charm and heartfelt emotion. In addition to Moore, the soundtrack features up-and-coming pop band Switchfoot, which oozes Total Request Live potential on the engaging lite-rock jam "Dare You to Move" and on the acoustic-rooted "You." Also contributing are Toploader, Rachel Lampa, and Cold, among others. But, in the end, nothing pulls the listener too far from Moore. And in this setting, that's just fine.—LF

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print