Unwritten

Studio Album by released in 2004

Unwritten review

23-year-old Natasha Bedingfield has a voice to melt radios and a decade long passion for writing and singing. Bedingfield's older brother Daniel is the U.K.'s Justin Timberlake, which makes this sexy newcomer a more refined version of Pink. Her debut, Unwritten, is a shiny blend of singer-songwriter sensitivity and big-voiced R&B, and though nothing else is as miraculously catchy as her debut single, These Words, nearly every cut outfits her charming confessionals with an immaculately crafted chorus or hip-hop hook. The party hard electro-rock of I'm A Bomb, the irrepressible optimism of the title track's chorus and Drop Me In The Middle's slinky R&B strut, respectively have her taking on Pink, Nelly Furtado and Beyonce and showing that Natasha is a worthy contender. Add the slamming Gwen Stefani attitude of If You're Gonna with its image of an independent, smart talking bombshell who's no one's pushover is complete. And Unwritten is her flawless statement of intent.

Unwritten kicks off with These Words, a near perfect 21st century pop song that has deservedly been a hit around the world. Natasha Bedingfield's appealing voice, with just a slight rasp, glides languidly through tones setting her apart from the bulk of current pop singers. Unwritten draws on a range of experiences and passions personal to her – from battling through the dating game (Frogs And Princes), and dealing with the trust issues of falling in love (I Bruise Easily) to learning how to carpe diem (If You’re Gonna Jump) and develop the confidence to take life and own it (Unwritten). Told from the viewpoint of a young woman with her head firmly screwed on, Unwritten is fuelled by lyrical sass and real-life suss throughout. Musically the album is inspired by a wide range of influences and styles, from the glam rock of Silent Movie through the muscular funk of Single to the orchestral majesty of Wild Horses. The result is an album packed with winning songs and no irrelevant fillers.

Unwritten is a startlingly good example of glossy, intelligent, commercial pop music circa 2005, and a rebuke to those who feel that successful pop records must by definition be irritating fluff. If Natasha Bedingfield's first two singles, feisty R&B anthem Single and chart-topper These Words, suggested she's more than just Daniel's little sister, her debut album, Unwritten, is the confirmation. Better still, it proves she's a genuine pop star in the making with a staggering tally of potential hits. Aided and abetted by some of music's biggest hit makers, including Robbie Williams's former writing partner Guy Chambers, Natasha reveals the true size of her ambition and potential, squaring up to every female chart icon going. Whether you like it or not, you won't be able to get those tunes out of your head. Now are there any other Bedingfield siblings we should know about?