en: N.B. (album) [info]
OK, so I was all prepared to hate this new album from Daniel Bedingfield's little sister - but I was pleasantly surprised. Far surpassing her older sibling's efforts, Natasha has actually got herself quite a huge fanbase and I don't think any of them will be disappointed with this new, funky, more urban sound.
Despite the obviously 'not-so-great' tracks (the Tina Arena-esque "Soulmate", for one) there is certainly a lot going on in each track. Opener "How Do You Do?" starts off as a guitar and horn extravaganza with a really swinging beat, but somehow manages to fit in laughter, whistling and a few slightly erroneous screams and 'ooohs' in the middle, before returning to the original formula for the finale.
Likewise, "Who Knows" - this track has a reggae-pop vibe (recently repopularised by Lily Allen) to start with, but the middle section consists of a more electro-style sound, and then a chorus of violins join in... these are certainly songs that take more than one listen to really get what's going on. Sometimes it doesn't work and it simply sounds like a bit of a confused mess; you get hints of Joss Stone, a smattering of Amy Winehouse and a touch of the aforementioned Lily - all a bit much when topped off with a great big dollop of Natasha...It might be nice if she found her groove and then stuck to it, rather than trying to do too many things...
Having said that, the pros probably outweigh the cons on this album - "(No More) What Ifs" with Eve could definitely be a single and "Pirate Bones" has got a funky vibe and that certain head-nodding quality every pop album needs. However, the less said about first single "I Wanna Have Your Babies", and its total theft of The Jackson Five's "I Want You Back" melody, the better...