Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Natasha Bedingfield

  • Unwritten [Epic, 2005] *
  • Pocketful of Sunshine [Epic/Phonogenic, 2008] C+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Unwritten [Epic, 2005]
Working things out for herself within the severe constraints of pop form ("These Words," "Unwritten"). *

Pocketful of Sunshine [Epic/Phonogenic, 2008]
As pop wannabes go, the Bedingfield of 2005 had humanity and humility. Still "unwritten," she "stumbled," "bruised easily." But stick this follow-up in the changer and the magic of compression raises the volume of these transparently calculated songs to barrage level. Even doing her humble bit, she yells in your ear. So what's all this about how she just lost her job but has so many reasons to be happy anyway--and so do you, girlie! Though the Sean Kingston collab generated sales and remixes and the album hung around in the top 40, it's yet to go gold. I never rejoice about the death of the record business. But sometimes it doesn't seem like such a bad idea. C+