Natasha Bedingfield spent most of the 2010s quietly, bouncing around on the small screen, spending time doing charitable work, and living in a world where "Unwritten" and "Pocketful of Sunshine" remained recurrent on both radio and television. Along the way, she put out plenty of non-LP singles, but an album called The Next Chapter never materialized and soon she parted ways with Epic/Sony. All this makes Roll with Me, her first album for We Are Hear/Universal and first album in nearly a decade, a bit of a crucial release for the singer; it's an opportunity to open up another chapter in her career. To that end, Bedingfield balances adventure with caution, collaborating with songwriter/producer Linda Perry for the bulk of the tracks, but adhering to the slick, stylish pan-continental pop that distinguished her 2000s hits. Indeed, save for a few lyrical references, Roll with Me often makes it seem like the 2010s never happened. It unfurls with an unhurried confidence, relying on Eurodance beats and sunny melodies, a combination that now sounds old-fashioned but still alluring. There are some shifts: the tempos are generally slower, so the ballads veer toward fussy and the pop tunes aren't quite so effervescent, and there's a slight hint of gravel in Bedingfield's voice. All of it amounts to an album that soothes and reassures, and provides an impeccable soundtrack to an aspirational, upscale lifestyle.
Roll With Me Review
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine