This is a textbook quality pop album... you won't be able to get those tunes out of...
David Hooper 2004-09-03
Bedingfield. It's a divisive word. People seem to either love or hate Daniel. Will his little sister Natasha's debut match his phenomenal success or sound like an embarrassing hand-me-down? The good (or bad) news is that 22 year-old Tash also seems to have inherited the ridiculously catchy pop gene, and with her confident album Unwritten, she's sure not to go unnoticed.
Things start well with the chart-topping "These Words", which only people living on the moon won't have heard already. Whether the "IloveyouIloveyouIloveyouIloveyous" annoy or not is down to individual taste, but there's no denying this is a finely-crafted number with bold, voluptuous harmonies. It'sguaranteed to thrill, at least for the first 30 plays.
Cue a lyrical u-turn with her debut single, "Single", all about not needing a fella. Here, Natasha embraces a darker, hip-hop sound. This reappears in the mediocre "Drop Me In The Middle" where she collaborates with Bizarre from D-12.
From loved-up-pop to hip-hop to feisty rock, all the genre boxes are ticked, and "I'm a Bomb" and "If You're Gonna" both embrace the latter, with Natasha going all Pink on us, but with feisty style.
A Trumpton-like acoustic guitar permeates the marvellously uplifting title track "Unwritten", with more of those fabulous harmonies and a gospel choir added in for good effect. The funky "Frogs and Princes", meanwhile, wouldn't sound out of place on a Janet Jackson album.
But Natasha can do slow too. The very lovely "I Bruise Easily" exposes her delicate side. She's accompanied by an orchestra for "Wild Horses", although the song might have benefited from a more delicate vocal approach.
Also noteworthy is "Size Matters". Don't worry lads -she's talking about your personality -"I was checking nice things you do standing in the Starbucks queue." It's another quirky and addictive song that you'll end up humming for days.
Unwritten is a textbook quality pop album, lifted by Natasha's strong voice, immaculate production and some absolutely corking singles. Whether you like it or not, you won't be able to get those tunes out of your head.
Now are there any other Bedingfield siblings we should know about?