A couple weeks ago, a coworker suggested that I try the new Natasha Bedingfield album, "Strip Me". I have no objections to Natasha and partly attribute my fondness for Nicki Minaj's song "Last Chance" to the fact that it also features Natasha; I think they sound great together. Natasha also benefitted from the fact that it's a slow time of year as far as record releases, for which my wallet is grateful, so she had the opportunity to slip onto my iPod. I've been listening to "Strip Me" all week and...I'm not quite sure what to write about it.
This is Natasha's fourth album with the first three bringing us "These Words", "Unwritten" and "Pocket Full of Sunshine". Here again, we are presented with an album full of very pleasant, radio-ready songs. I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way, but if you're looking for something different or revolutionary, you'd best look in a different direction.
I think the reason I like the Nicki/Natasha song is because Nicki's rapping is clever and interesting, while Natasha softens the rap sound with her pretty voice, so we get two diverse sounds blending nicely in the same song. The problem with this album--although it's really not a problem per se--is that every song is essentially just Natasha's pretty voice. So I'm back to perfectly pleasant. Perhaps it's just a matter of expectations.
As I said, I can easily see any of these songs being successful on the radio because they are good songs and not offensive to anyone. The very titles of the songs don't have to be changed (Cee Lo Green), nor are there repeated gaps in the lyrics where there would be content on the "Explicit" version of the album (if there was one). I can personally vouch for the fact that this is a perfect album to play in the kitchen while you're working, even if teenagers are in and out with their friends. Maybe I should make a playlist of Natasha, Norah Jones and Sheryl Crow to play during those times and save Eminem, Kanye and Nicki for my headphone use only.
The songs I like best on "Strip Me" are "Touch", which is a song about a sequence of events that brought two people together, and "Mozart", which has sweet lyrics. Overall, an agreeable several days with Natasha, but I'm not sure I'll return to this album much in the future. On second thought, I think I'll work on that "Pleasant Kitchen Music" playlist after all. Natasha, you're in!
Enjoy the video for the title track: