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Even though i dont live in the USA, i have heard this. It's Natasha really realising that the UK dont care anymore and the USA is where i have to go now. She didnt just send out carbon copy's of her UK N.B record she spiced it up with even better songs and went over herself too.
Put Your Arms Around me, is a pleasant opener just like How Do You Do? on N.B - Pocketful of Sunshine has done so well on radio and downloads in the US i think it speaks for itself, it's is fun and it's vibrant and i think in the recession right now a song like that is needed to cheer up a doom and gloomy USA - atcually echo that for Love Like This with Sean (brillant BTW) and Happy (sounds like Shania Twain) as well. Soulmate is on here YAH! there's a chance for it's brillance to be recognised. Piece Of Your heart, is one of the USA Exclusive songs, it's pleasant, not great or anything. Say It Again made it on here, it's a back up incase it all goes wrong with the other songs. Angel, another new one - it's mystical and nice and forum people keep calling for it's release, i think there's much better on the album. I think Backyard and Freckles would show the unserious side of Natasha Bedingifeld and it would be a mistake to release it quite frankly it go all go pear shaped.
Who Knows and Pirate Bones as well as Not Givin Up, where my fave songs from the N.B so glad they made it on here, polished versions of them on here and they work so well for the US i would call for their release!
A brillant record in the USA, counting UK and USA Natasha has released for faboulous albums, is it time for a greatest hits - Poketful Of Sunshine is vibrant, fun, serious and meaningful - for her fans it brings together her best songs from the N.B album and puts some US friendly radio hits and some new songs to produce a fab CD. It's not done as well as her debut did thanks to Unwritten, but it's done well to promise a future in the US certainly.
Natasha Bedingfield is back with her third album, although it'd probably be more accurate to call it her second-and-a-half, because Pocketful Of Sunshine is a mix of six tracks carried over from second UK studio record NB and seven new tracks recorded for the US market.
Opener Put Your Arms Around Me is nothing short of stunning. From the soft, infectious beat at the beginning to the perfect, memorable chorus, this is a work of art; pop at it's simplistic best. Next comes title track Pocketful Of Sunshine. This has sold 2 million downloads in the US for a reason - it's madly catchy melody and fabulous layered vocals combine to make for the pop song of 2008, without exception. Hopefully the song will soon get a UK release and return Natasha to her rightful place atop the singles chart.
Next is Happy, another new track which doesn't really have much substance aside from it's basic message of trying to focus on the positives in life. The track ambles by nicely with a lovely vocal from Tasha but it certainly isn't an essential listen; it's just a good quality album track. Love Like This follows; it continues the summer theme but adds an addictive, tinkling beat and a surprisingly charming rap from Sean Kingston, combining to make a pretty decent track which was more than worthy of being the lead US single.
Fifth track Piece Of Your Heart is a highlight. The JR Rotem-produced number is a non-stop, fast-paced piece of electro-R&B unlike anything else on the album. The chorus is hugely memorable and Natasha's vocals are layered to give a truly 'big' sound. The track definitely has potential as a future single, especially given how American it sounds. Soulmate then kicks in. Most of the UK will most likely know it after it was a hit Top 10 single with lots of exposure, including a mighty live performance at the Princess Diana concert in 2007. The track is hauntingly sparse and despite not being quite the well-rounded ballad previous hit I Bruise Easily is, it's still a thing of beauty.
Say It Again is another breezy track which makes the most of it's simply-structured chorus and lodges it's way into your brain. Natasha excels at such sunny pop so it's a welcome addition to the tracklist. Angel is in a similar vein if a little more expensively-produced; the Darkchild number sees Tasha spell out 'A-n-g-e-l' over a slightly vocoded vocal. Again, the song is extremely US-friendly, and likely to become a hit when released as the album's third single this Summer. Backyard slows the pace a tad; it's soaring, atmospheric vocal and charming lyrics ('your cowboy hat, my tutu; why can't we be how we were, in the backyard?') make for another high point and, in my opinion, one of the best song of Natasha's career to date.
Freckles is something of a retread of Happy and, like that song, is a slightly cheesy, uninspired motivational track. Lyrics like 'why waste a minute not loving who you are?' are sweet but lack the sheer quirckiness and originality Natasha so often excels at. Who Knows is a massive improvement; lady Bedingfield muses about the stage of her relationship ('Im in like with you; not in love with you, quite yet...') and features a purposely disjointed sound which works well with the electro musical elements to make for a catchy four minutes.
Pirate Bones is in a similar vain, although the production exposes a rare weak vocal during the bridge. The album goes out on an extreme high; Not Givin Up is an amazing pop moment. Produced by respected R&B producer Danja, the song has a furious pace and sees Natasha vow to put her all into a failing relationship. 'How can I stay mad at you, when I'm so in love with you?' she ponders, one syllable at a time. It's Natasha sheer adaptability, the talent of being able to work with any producer and always own the song, which makes tracks like this such winners.
My only gripe with the record is the exclusion of two fabulous tracks from NB; No More What Ifs features the brilliant rapper Eve and is a reflective, dark piece of pop which absolutely deserves to be heard by the US audience. Smell The Roses is a fabulously cute number which is more silky smooth than luxury lingerie! It stands up there with Natasha's very best and manages to put across the sweet message shared by Happy and Freckles without sounding corny or uninspired. Piano-heavy pop song Cheer Me Up, a new track restricted to being an iTunes bonus, also deserved to make the final cut.
As it stands, however, PFOS is a truly excellent and modern pop album with enough influences from other genres to be catchy, interesting and memorable all in one. Songs like Pocketful Of Sunshine and Not Givin Up are smash hits in the making and any fan of pop music could only benefit from having this in their collection.
"Pocket Full of Sunshine" is technically the third album release from British singer Natasha Bedingfield, however it's not actually been released in the UK and is only available online or by importing from America. Six of the tracks are present on "N.B." which was her second album release in the UK but this album never made it to America, instead they repackaged it with seven new tracks and renamed it "Pocket Full of Sunshine."
Her first album was released back in 2004 and certainly made its presence felt in the charts with a mixture of pop and r n b sounds. She sold over 2.5 million copies of it worldwide and I felt it was a pretty good album that I still listen to now from time to time. Following this she released "N.B." in April 2007 which had a much more r n b and reggae feel to it than her previous album. However this album didn't receive quite as much success as her previous.
Her sound is quite unique really and equally hard to describe. She started off very much as focusing on the somewhat safe pop field with hints of r n b making their way onto her first album which worked quite well. The majority of her songs were fairly happy and upbeat which seemed to work well for her. Since then her sound has altered and seems to have been less favourably received. With regards as to who she sounds similar to it's a hard one but I'd say a mixture of Ashlee Simpson, Sophie Ellis Bextor and Mutya Buena.
"Put Your Arms Around Me" is the first track on the album and has a relaxed pop feel to it, an ideal track for sitting in the garden in the summer. It's got quite an upbeat feel to it and is sung quite softly yet still manages to give feel quite energised. It's quite a good opening track in that it sets the mood for the rest of the album. The second track has a little more of an eerie sounding opening to it before developing quite a consistent beat which remains throughout the track. Again it sits quite comfortably in the relaxed pop field although her voice is stronger in this track and shines through much better than in the previous one.
"Happy" and "Love Like This" both have quite an underlying Jamaican beat to them in a sense and would be ideal to listen to while lying on a beach. The latter of the two is a duet with Sean Kingston and it's a brilliant track, what the former lacks in energy and quality is certainly made up for by the latter of the two tracks. While "Happy" does drone on a little in places and is slightly sickening with the whole "so many beautiful reasons I have to be happy" the second track is really catchy and quite quirky at times as well, absolute hit!
"Piece of your Heart" has a much more American feel to it and as this album was actually re-marketed to attract the American audience it's understandable that there should be some sort of American influence on it. It's much more Jessica Simpson-esque than any of the previous tracks although a little darker than the typical American pop princess music, perhaps Ashlee Simpson would have been a better comparison to use. However I really don't like this song and do tend to skip it whenever I listen to the album, although it's got good backing music her voice sounds a little harsh and it just doesn't sound great.
"Soulmate" is unbearably dull in all honesty, with very little backing music and a general depressing feel to her voice it just never really gets going. Although some of the lyrics are beautiful "who doesn't long for someone to hold, who knows how to love you without being told," they do drag on and are enough to send you to sleep! "Say It Again" and "Angel" do pick up the tempo of the album slightly although if I'm honest I do find them a little boring and similar sounding to each other. "Angel" is particular distinctly sounds like something I'd have expected from Beyonce so again the American influence is obvious here.
The last five tracks on the album follow in a similar suit to the previous ones; first up with have "Backyard" which never gets going and has that same drab and dull feel to it, "Freckles" has a slight country feel to it which just sounds out of place on this album although does sound much fresher than any of the other recent tracks and "Who Knows" just stands out as being a little odd and more Amy Winehouse sounding than anything else really. As for the last two tracks "Pirate Bones" and "Not Givin' Up" they really don't stand out much at all, I'm really not keen on their uneven beat and stinted lyrics.
In conclusion I'd have to say that I really don't favour this album at all, there are a few good tracks near the start of it but towards the end it really did disappoint me greatly. Unless you're a fan of her previous work I wouldn't recommend you buy this, especially without listening to a couple of the tracks first. She has been criticised in the past for a lack of inspiration in her lyrics and I'd have to agree, at best they're what I would call average and they certainly didn't motivate or stimulate me in any way.
Other critics seem to have agreed with what I've said, All Music Guide described the album as being "awkwardly assembled" and added that it felt "less personal and more vetted by executives." Newsday wrote that the album was "full of pale copies of other successful pop songs that don't necessarily work for Bedingfield" which certainly rings true with me, several of the songs would have been far better if they'd be sung by American artists - it was almost as if she was modelling herself on them, and failing.
So all in all this album only gets two stars from me, there are a few good tracks as I've already mentioned and some of the songs are ideal for sending me to sleep!
www.amazon.co.uk - £12.48
Thanks for reading.
Natasha Bedingfield is an English Singer/Songwriter from London. Her first album 'Unwritten' was recorded in 2004 and her second album 'N.B.' was released in the April of 2007 in the UK and Ireland. In the U.S. however, her second album is entitled 'Pocket Full of Sunshine' and whilst it features six tracks from the album 'N.B.', seven of the tracks are completely new. As I understand it, the new tracks were recorded in order to make the album appeal more to the American market as it was not believed that the 'N.B.' album would do well in the U.S. I feel that this album from Natasha Beddingfield benefits greatly from having been completely re-marketed for release in America. One noticeable track which is not present on the 'Pocket Full of Sunshine' album which was on the 'N.B.' album is 'I Wanna Have Your Babies', something I was extremely pleased about having not been at all a fan of that one.
The 'Pocket Full of Sunshine' album just seems to work on every level. Pretty much every single track that is present on this album pleases me hugely and is great to listen to. Beginning with 'Put Your Arms Around Me', this album never fails to impress from start to finish and is always a joy to listen to. I feel that the title track is probably my favourite of the release, it is this one in fact which attracted me to listening to Natasha Bedingfield's new album in the first place. I love the title track 'Pocket Full of Sunshine', it is just so catchy and has the most fantastic chorus I have heard in a long while. The beat is in my opinion near on perfect and everything about it just seems to fit together flawlessly in order to make for one of the best musical recordings I have heard all year.
Lyrics have never been a strong point of the music of Natasha Bedingfield, but given just how catchy and amazingly fun her music is to listen to this simply doesn't matter. It's hard to listen to this album without raising a smile or two; I challenge you to do so in fact. There is never a dull moment with the 'Pocket Full of Sunshine' album, a release which was led by the single 'Love Like This', an infectious little number which features the ever amazing Sean Kingston also. It is no surprise that this track was such a huge hit in America, Bedingfield and Kingston bounce off each other perfectly, their dual vocals sound amazing together and the sound of this one is simply superb. The track is quite repetitive, however somehow it works and not only is it extremely catchy, but very easy to listen to over and over also.
There is no denying that Natasha Bedingfield is making great Pop music, her music is a lot less detestable than the vast majority of Pop acts out there and is a lot more catchy also. There is a great R&B element present in her music and this is something that shines through when listening to this album. The aforementioned hit single 'Love Like This' being the best example of where the R&B sound is utilised in this album to great effect. Elsewhere in the release, there is a superb duet with Adam Levine from Maroon 5 in the fantastic 'Say It Again', a track I would most certainly advise listening to. In truth, the role of Adam Levine in this track is really rather minimal and he has very little of a speaking role. Despite the minimal presence of the Maroon 5 man in the track, it is still an excellent one to listen to and will surely be enjoyed by many given that it is the latest single release to have been chosen from the album.
Natasha Bedingfield has had a great career so far and it shows no signs of coming to an end any time soon. I feel that Natasha Bedingfield has a long and bright future ahead of her and she thoroughly deserves this to be so. Having now released two albums, she has shown a great deal of potential and a number of her tracks have impressed me massively. The music of Natasha Bedingfield tends to be a little hit and miss, however with 'Pocket Full of Sunshine' the bad tracks from the 'N.B.' album seem to have been ditched in favour of adding some greatly appealing new material and this has resultantly improved upon the UK and Ireland release tenfold. Whilst the 'Pocket Full of Sunshine' album is not exactly the best I have ever heard, it is definitely worth listening to and I would recommend it to everyone. There is something here to please all, and listening to the album at least once is therefore something that I feel everyone should do. Although not officially released in the UK, the US import of the 'Pocket Full of Sunshine' album can currently be found on Amazon at a price of £12.48.
I am not a huge Natasha fan but having heard a few of the tracks from this album and mostly liking what I heard I figured it would be a good album to pop on when getting ready for a night out, doing the housework or relaxing in the bath so I added it to my collection.
Pocket full of sunshine is classed as most of Natasha's work is as being in the R&B/pop genre but this album is not as simple as that. There`s real soul to a lot of the tracks and a touch of reggae to be had also especially in the album's first single, "Love like This", which features Sean Kingston.
The track listings.
1, "Put Your Arms around Me" - 3:43
2, "Pocketful of Sunshine" - 3:23
3,"Happy" - 3:40
4,"Love like This" (featuring Sean Kingston) - 3:42
5,"Piece of Your Heart" - 3:47
6,"Soulmate" - 3:34
7,"Say It Again" (featuring Adam Levine on backing vocals) - 3:32
8,"Angel" - 4:08
9,"Backyard" - 3:27
10,"Freckles" - 3:46
11,"Who Knows" -3:46
12,"Pirate Bones" - 3:52
13,"Not Givin' Up" - 3:49
The type of music on this album ranges greatly from the catchy and upbeat tracks like, "Put Your Arms around Me", "Happy", "Not Givin' Up" and "Love like This" to the more mellow and soulful "Soulmate" and "Angel". Although very different in style they all have the same great qualities such as the pop rhythm and Natasha`s wonderful vocals.
My favourite track on the album is "Who Knows" this truly is pop perfection, one of my close friends heard me playing this when she was on the phone to me and asked me what the tune was in the background as she really liked it, she was amazed to hear it was Natasha because she really doesn`t like her music as a rule.
There isn`t really a weak track on the album but my least favourite is "Pirate Bones", although still a good enough track it just doesn`t seem to quite fit in with the rest of the tracks on the album. I would give the rest of the tracks on the album ratings of 9/10 or 10/10 but this one slips down to about a 7/10 for me.
Over all I would give the album 8/10 and not being a fan that`s pretty good. I think her real fans will probably love this album because for me it's her best music so far. The album was only released around a week ago so you can still expect to pay full price for this which From asda`s was £8.99 but it can be ordered from Amazon for £7.99 and with most albums on Amazon there is the chance to listen to clips of the tracks before you buy, so if your not sure this will be for you then go have a little listen.
All I all I would say this is a good catchy sounding little album which may appeal more to the girls than the boys but is well worth its money.
P.s there are bonus tracks on the album also but depending on which version of the album you get they vary....
North American iTunes editions of Pocketful of Sunshine
"Unwritten" (Stripped acoustic version)
"Love like This" (Acoustic from Bleu Room) (Pre-order exclusive)
"Cheer Me Up"(Pre-order exclusive)
Wal-Mart edition of Pocketful of Sunshine
"Love like This" (Live from Wal-Mart Soundcheck)
"Unwritten" (Live from Wal-Mart Soundcheck)
I hope this review has been of some use to you and thank you all again for reading.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Put Your Arms Around Me
2 Pocketful of Sunshine
4 Love Like This - Natasha Bedingfield, Sean Kingston
5 Piece of Your Heart
7 Say It Again
11 Who Knows
12 Pirate Bones
13 Not Givin' Up