Thursday, April 10, 2008

Pocketful Of Sunshine - Natasha Bedingfield

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It must have seemed to Natasha Bedingfield as if she had the world at her feet. And maybe she still does; but she's had to sacrifice most of her agreeable quirkiness to make it remain so.

Her "second album" NB may not have been brilliant, but it was an album that screamed out personality; indeed it was unmistakably a Natasha Bedingfield record. Admittedly that might not be everyone's idea of a good thing, but in the homogenised generic world that counts as the modern day pop industry it was certainly refreshing.

The American's didn't like it though, and it's Stateside release was quietly scrapped after the flop of lead single I Wanna Have Your Babies, conspicuous by it's absence here. What's more, after being postponed for some non-reason (which most certainly wasn't due to poor ticket sales), a UK tour was finally cancelled for some other non-reason (which again wasn't due to poor tickets sales at all) which suggested that things were looking decidedly sticky.

Hence Pocketful Of Sunshine, here second album for the USA. Half of it is rehashed from NB, the rest new tracks, all recorded simply through Bedingfield's high work-rate, and not because her American label insisted.

Yes, you might detect more than a smidgen of cynicism here, but anyone with a hint of common sense can work through the spin.

On balance, at least the better tracks from NB have been left intact but the new tracks are the typical, Americanised pap that you'd expect from an American/Pop Idol contestant. The success of this album so far, at least compared to it's European counterpart, may prove that Bedingfield has made the right choice. This listener, however, remains less than convinced that she did.

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