Mandy Moore survived the blond pop-tart revolution of the late '90s by being, oddly enough, the most mediocre star of the bunch. Moore is not a flashy singer like Xtina, nor is she a sexed-up entertainer like Britney. She's not even much of a paparazzi target, despite dating plenty of high-profile guys: Zach Braff, Wilmer Valderrama, and Andy Roddick.
Even Moore's onscreen career has been marked by performances in bland if wholesome movies. It's almost as if she's afraid of becoming too successful, lest that success be misinterpreted by the media as an X painted on her back. But here's the thing: Mandy Moore is an artist, even if she likes to dabble in the mainstream. The experimentation on her self-titled sophomore album proved this. And ever since, she has insisted upon doing things on her terms, even if that means failure. Hell, with her budding acting career, she no longer needs to record music; she doesn't sell that many records. But Moore continues to make music because she feels the artist's need, and that has to be respected.