"Natasha Bedingfield who had a smash hit worldwide with her debut album Unwritten and spawned a few memorable single hits aswell. Her debut album was a quirky cheerful pop masterpiece with funny playful lyrics about independence and single life of a young woman. Lyrics were just as good as the melodies/hooks and In my oppinion it was one of the best, if not the best Pop album of 2004. Sophmore effort N.B., which refers to her initials got a fair share of goodies aswell, but the themes are diffrent and rely more on finding Mr. Right and settle down then being young and having fun. It was well produced with good producers like Dr. Dre protege, Mike Elizondo and Timbaland protege Nate "Danja" Hills, but Steve Kipner appears again,(wrote several of her old hits) and so does Andrew Frampton. Adam Levine from Maroon 5 sang backround vocals on some songs, which is quite fascinating!. While this album got simularities with her debut, it focus further on production (and I must say it's really good) but not all songs have the greatest of hooks, but they grew on you nonetheless. Natasha Bedingfield is one of a kind with her natural and openminded attitute and ability to send out her feelings to the listener. The album was released last year in Europe, but it never saw daylight in North America, so instead she decided to hand pick the best songs out of N.B and add a few new one's for the anticipated North American release. She also decided to rename the album "Pocket of Sunshine" but like already mentioned it isn't really a new album.
An already great album is possiby getting even better with a few strong additions. It starts with a new song called "Put Your Arms Around Me" that seem to be a romantic midtempo and it's very catchy with sing-a-long hook. The title track which is also her next single, seem to be made for American radio and sounds closer to R&B. Another new song called "Happy" is made for the summer with a little spice of the caribbean and basically she sings that there is no need to worry cause there's so many beautiful reasons to be happy. "Love Like This" is a rather odd colaboration with Sean Kingston, but it works fine and is currently a top 20 hit in USA. It's a midtempo with good hook and Kingston add something diffrent into the mix even if he sings very little. "Piece of My Heart" feature modern production and is a very good emotional pop song. Euro single, "Soulmate" is a ballad and a very good one. The hook goes like this "Who doesn't long for someone to hold/who knows how to love you without being told/somebody tell me why I'm on my own/if there's a soulmate for everyone", possible her most intimate song to date.
On "Say It" get's quite personal where Natasha admit she found the perfect one. Adam Levine sings backround vocals here, and it make me wonder if she's singing about him?. Another slow song. "Angel", (not to be mistaken with "Tricky Angel" from N.B) is a midtempo where she sings that she'll be the guardian angel to her loved one, don't mess with her man!. One of the best songs. A ballad called "Backyard" about how a relationship is turning sour and Natasha wish it could be like it used to be again, in the backyard. A new song called "Freckles" is about self-esteem and about personality make people look good not just looks. She sings "Cuz a face without freckles is like the sky without the stars/ Why waste a second, not loving who you are?/ Those little imperfections make you beautiful, loveable, valuable/ They show your personality - inside your heart". Next song is called "Who Knows" and is another midtempo with good arrangements about being undecided if the relationship is the right for marriage or not. More about insecurity in "Pirate Bones" a decent midtempo again with elegant production. The closer is the Danja produced "Not Givin Up". It's a modern uptempo and think it was the best song from N.B and I'm thriled that it's included here. It could become a hit but it doesn't look likely to become a single.
Overall, the songs that didn't make the Northern American release were "I Wanna Have You Babies, Who Knows, Tricky Angel, Still Here, "(No More) What Ifs" (featuring Eve) and "When You Know You Know" / "I Think They're Thinking". A little surprising to not see the Eve duet nor "Babies" on this release, however the new songs that were chosen are all good and end up being worthy substitutes. "Pocket of Sunshine" for me, is a top notch release. Natasha is a gifted singer, and combines really smart and personal lyrics with radio friendly hook driven pop, and getting both is rare these days. The more you listen to this album the more you're gonna like it and I'll defenitely recommending it to fans of her debut aswell as people that haven't discovered her yet. 2008 started well. 4'5 stars.
Sunny Island Pop
Amanda Richards | Georgetown, Guyana | 03/24/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Shades of Jamaica, mon! Bedingfield heads off for the Caribbean with a few reggae-influenced tracks on her second US album, which is packed with music for easy listening on lazy sunny days.
Very different from her first album, this one is a little slicker in the production, and the lyrics more formulaic, but the feel-good aspect shines through in every track. A few more upbeat tracks wouldn't have hurt, but when she goes mellow, she sounds like Corinne Bailey Rae.
The hit of the album is "Love Like This" featuring Sean Kingston, an infectious reggae/hip hop track, but you should also try:
"Put Your Arms Around Me" - a sweet sing-a-long and sway number "Pocketful of Sunshine" - a little faster track with an electro-pop beat "Piece of Your Heart" - nice piano intro to a jazzy track "Soulmate" - a slow pop ballad about finding that special someone "Say it Again" featuring Adam Levine (Maroon 5) - pop song with a pleasant melody that reminds me of "Unwritten" "Angel" - all together now, "A-N-G-E-L" "Freckles" - sounds a bit like Katie Melua
The momentum peters out in the last few tracks, but you can try the above-mentioned songs from this pocket-sized burst of sunshine for an early taste of summer.
Amanda Richards, March 24, 2008 "
Tracy Allen | Moorhead Mn | 06/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought the cd for only 2 songs on there tha tI liked when I got the cd I listened to the whole thing and just absolutaly love every song on there.... it is very upbeat but very relaxing to listen to at the same time wtg good job on this cd"
Natasha has all the Goods!
Chase von | California | 06/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was on a friends my space page when I saw the video, "Pocket Full Of Sunshine" and thought not only is she lovely, but this song is instantly loveable! But to be frank, that's the only song I was aware of by Natasha.
Then I started hearing it on the radio, (It's used in a commercial for a casino here in So Cal and then my wife was singing it as well)...
Fast forward---looking for a B-day gift and decided to get it for my wife, who loves it! But to be honest, if that was the only song on it that was good, I felt it would have served its purpose but today, I listened to all of it and I have to say, not only is that song great, but the entire CD is incredible! And what amazed me the most in listening to it---is she has some very powerful and meaningful messages she is delivering such as in "Freckles" and perhaps my favorite, as for content is, "Pirate Bones".
I'm really pleased that there is a performer that has an exceptional voice, who is also using her platform to send out positive messages to her fans, (particularly women), about morals and the things in life that really matter.
(A rarity these days for sure.)
Her voice I believe is outstanding, and she reminds me of various people like, Alina Smith, Lisa Stansfield, Lisa Lavie, Kelly Clarkson, Fergie (formally of the Black Eye Peas) and Teena Marie, and I just get the sense from listening to her, that she was heavily influenced by greats like Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston and Gladys Knight!
Very soulful delivery!
I hope she continues to sing songs about morality and not being shallow and I would love to hear more from her in the future, especially more ballads or slow songs because for me, it's really a little easier to appreciate a lovely voice like hers when it isn't rushed...
I'd in fact, really love to hear her do something with no instruments at all, just her voice and perhaps some harmonizing in the back ground! Her voice more than holds its own with any instruments, but I think it will shine all by itself as well!
In closing, if the only song on the CD that was good was "A Pocket Full Of Sunshine."
Who generally wishes that people who sold CD's with one great song on it, and the rest suck and are fillers and wish they would have just released that song as a single, would still have been content in this scenario---because I bought it as a gift, particularly for that song.
I'm pleasantly surprised that there's a whole lot more on this CD for people to enjoy and I look forward to hearing more from this very gifted artist---who is truly singing things that will positively affect her listeners.
Co-author of Dream Reachers with Betty Dravis "
Best Album she's put out yet!
RJ | rjmusic | 03/15/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Wow, i love it when singers who aren't black can actually sing like they are. Pocket full of sunshine really should be considered r &b, but is simply considered pop. Angel has to be one of the best soulful pop songs to come out in a very long time.Size Matters is a really great song as well. She does an excellent job of trying to not over sing but still sound great at the same time. Love like this is avery good song, and I could def. hear the passion in her voice. Overall, this is an excellent CD! Don't let your musical tastes hinder you if your a fan of pop, hiphop, or r and b! You won't be disappointed."