Natasha Bedingfield

Roll With Me

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Roll With Me Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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.

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