Mandy Moore’s Secret Weapon Might Be Her Intense Awkwardness

noah | June 12, 2009 10:00 am

I’ve spent some time with Mandy Moore’s latest attempt to break free of her teenpop bonds Amanda Leigh since it came out, and one word keeps coming to mind: Disarming. The songs are quite good, but there’s an odd feeling of placelessness about it; it doesn’t have much of a sense of time, or even locale, despite references to rivers and summers and dells. The video for the album’s first single, the snappy “I Could Break Your Heart Every Day Of The Week,” is kind of a perfect showcase for how the record sounds OK on the surface, yet has a queasy unease lurking within! It’s set in a dojo, although Mandy herself could be anywhere else in the world for pretty much most of the clip–she lip-syncs the track while trying to look “tough” but really just looking like she’s irritated about being stuck at the video shoot, and shots of her are alternated with shots of the flipping and flying fighters in such a way that you wonder if all these people are even on the same set, let alone in the same room. That is, until the mean old dojo leader walks in, and we’re treated to the dramatic conclusion: Mandy gives the big jerk an underwear flash, then kicks him in the balls. And walks out, to the cheers of his oppressed students. It’s unclear why she’s taken on this role of mean-teacher avenger, which leads me to wonder if this might be an alternate “all cutting room floor footage” version of the clip. I really like this song and think that it could help her achieve Triple-A crossover to some extent, but this video’s unbelievable awkwardness is just painful to sit through.Mandy Moore – I Could Break Your Heart Any Day Of The Week [YouTube; embedding disabled]