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Album: Natasha Bedingfield: Unwritten
Street Date: August 2, 2005
Length: 56:39
Rating: 3
Reviewed by: Brian

To US music fans, Natasha Bedingfield is a relative unkown. That however is about to change as Bedingfield, the little sister of pop star Daniel Bedingfield ("Gotta Get Through This"), has released an updated version of her UK smash debut, Unwritten, in the US. The UK version of Unwritten, released in 2004, received rave reviews from music fans the world over. Bedingfield achived pop diva status in many countries, going triple platinum in the UK, double platinum in Ireland, and gold in South Africa and Singapore. "These Words," the lead single for the US version of Unwritten, has been getting steady play on music video channels such as VH1.

1. These Words - Unwritten begins with a hip-hopish beat. Natasha actually puts on a pretty impressive showing as she flows well over the beat with some creative lyrics. This is an upbeat song which sets a good tone for the album. It is light and happy, yet meaningful. For those who might want a comparison, it feels very Lauryn Hill-ish.

2. Single - Another urban beat laces the track for "Single." The song works well as an anthem for the independent woman who doesn't feel the need to be attached to a significant other all the time. Natasha's lyrics are honest and the vocals are emotionally driven. A very good song overall.

3. Unwritten - "Unwritten" comes away from the urban beats and goes more into the pop category with acoustic backing instruments with a consistent drum beat. Natasha shows off her singing skills more here instead of just flowing with the beat. The song works well as it has good production, good lyrics, and solid vocals.

4. Silent Movie - This is a slower track with an acoustic lead, with a mixed track underneath. Some of the vocals sections are synth'ed for effect. The song is solid, the vocals are alright and the lyrics are decent.

5. Stumble - The third acoustic-led track in a row. "Stumble" is the most lyrically honest song on the CD so far, but it is very elegant. The music works very well as a backing basis for the lyrics. The vocals are average but the production, lyrical content, and music make this song one of the better songs on the CD.

6. Peace Of Me - "Peace of Me" has a nice piano intro. The beat breaks into a mixed beat with a piano lead, which is later joined by full-band instruments. Clever lyrical content mixed with good vocals makes for a song that will make you click the "repeat" button a few times.

7. If You're Gonna... - "If You're Gonna" trends back up, opening with an electric guitar solo and breaking down into a mixed-rock beat. The song feels very experimental and it works to some extent, but isn't one of the better songs on the album.

8. Drop Me In The Middle - Now we go back to a more urban beat for "Drop Me In The Middle." The beat is mid-tempo and is pretty repetitive, but it works. The lyrics and vocals are ok, but not great.

9. We're All Mad - "We're All Mad" breaks down into a slower AC pop beat. Vocally the song flows gracefully with the melody. Natasha's vocals are very good on this track. Another standout song.

10. I Bruise Easily - Another slow beat. The vocals and lyrics again mesh nicely with the music. The mixing and production on this CD has been excellent. One of the stonger songs vocally for Natasha.

11. The One That Got Away - The song opens with a slower R&B-type beat which speeds up in the choruses. This is another semi-experimental song, but it is pulled off well.

12. Size Matters - "Size Matters" has a mid-tempo beat which is light and playful, but works well. The lyrics are catchy and solid. The vocals are ok.

13. Wild Horses - Unwritten closes with a piano-vocal track. The lyrics are thoughtful and brought to life with impassioned vocals. Natasha is a bit inconsistent with her vocals on this song, but it is a very good song nonetheless.

Overall Impression:
One of Natasha Bedingfield's greatest assets is her ability to write catchy and clever lyrics. Also, the production on the CD is magnificent. Natasha's vocals could use a little work, but for the most part she is average or a little bit above. It is easy to see why her music has been successful worldwide, and I will go out on a limb and say it is very possible she could carve herself a niche in the American music scene as well.

The US release of Unwritten comes in two formats: the regular CD, or a CD/DVD DualDisc which features behind-the-scenes footage, an interview with Natasha, the US music video for "These Words," and the UK video for "Single."

For more information on Natasha Bedingfield visit www.natashabedingfield.com.

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