Wild Hope is the fifth studio album by American singer Mandy Moore, her first in four years. It was released via her new label, The Firm Music, a division of EMI USA, on June 19, 2007 (see 2007 in music). It was released digitally in Australia on June 18 with the bonus track "Swept Away". Counting her compilation and cover albums, it is Moore's seventh album and her first to be fully co-written.
Moore began writing new material for the album in 2004. She originally signed with Sire Records and released a single via her site entitled "Hey!" which was written by James Renald, the writer of her 2002 single "Cry". In early 2006, Moore posted the cover of "Beautiful Man" on her MySpace and later informed her fans that she departed from Sire Records due to creative differences. Moore then signed with EMI and a UK magazine assumed after hearing the song "Slummin' In Paradise" that that would be the title of the album.
For Wild Hope, Moore collaborated with producer John Alagia (Dave Matthews Band, Liz Phair) and has written material for the first time: she wrote/co-wrote songs with Rachael Yamagata, Chantal Kreviazuk, Michelle Branch, Lori McKenna and indie pop-folk duo The Weepies, all chronicled in a promotional video available for viewing on her official website. This is the first album that Moore co-wrote entirely and the first time she released songs that she co-wrote since "When I Talk to You", which appeared on her self-titled album, in 2001; many of the songs are about her breakup with ex-boyfriend Zach Braff. "Extraordinary," one of the tracks she co-wrote with The Weepies, was premiered via her MySpace profile on January 29, 2007. Moore has also put another song on her MySpace profile called "Nothing That You Are." The new track premiered on February 9, 2007. Moore explained how the album helped her cope with depression and self-discovery.
To date, critics have been generally positive on the album. Jane Magazine said that "Moore has turned into a sophisticated songwriter whose new sound fits cozily alongside that of Regina Spektor, Fiona Apple and Sarah McLachlan rather than all the pop tarts she used to be compared to." Billboard stated that "Wild Hope is the gratifying sound of a singer finally finding her comfort zone. Gone is the sugary pop of Moore's early career, replaced instead by thoughtful musings on love and life...an album full of subtle, but undeniable hooks."
Moore did a documentary for Oxygen entitled I am Mandy Moore that chronicled the writing and concept of her album Wild Hope. She also did "one-off" gigs promoting her album. The most popular is the MSN concert where Moore performed all songs off her album including three older songs ("Help Me", "Moonshadow", "Candy"). Moore also went on tour to help promote the album.
Wild Hope debuted on the U.S. Billboard 200 at No. 30, selling a mere 25,000 copies the first week of release, according to Billboard. It is Moore's third highest debuting album, falling short of her 2003 album Coverage, which debuted at No. 14, selling 59,000 copies. Her album also reached No. 9 on The Top Internet albums. After 5 weeks, Wild Hope charted off the Billboard 200, however it returned on the chart, when the album came back in at No. 118, selling 5,500 copies. To date, Wild Hope has sold over 200,000 in the United States and 600,000 worldwide.