You know that song that never left your head for weeks? That was constantly ringing through your head no matter the occasion? There’s a good chance one of Natasha Bedingfield’s songs was one of these and despite disappearing for nearly NINE YEARS (her last album was 2010’s overlooked yet super amazing ‘Strip Me’) she’s back with a new album.
And, having followed some of the development on social media, I was excited to hear what ‘Roll With Me’ had to offer.
The album title should have been a dead giveaway for me; ,ost of the album feels like one long jam session that never ends, infused with smoke filled evenings and cloudy late starts to the day.
Yes, it’s official people – Natasha Bedingfield has joined a hippie commune.
One of the worst albums I’ve heard in years, ‘Roll With Me’ showcases just how necessary an objective editor is to reign indulgence in.
I have a deep appreciation for the fact she’s doing album she wants to do (this one is independent) but it’s a complete and utter mess. Songs blend into each other, messaging feels far too diluted to bring the political or social element she’s looking to achieve and they feel like generic demos that need a lot more work.
Despite the fact she’s worked with super producer / artist Linda Perry on this album, ‘Roll With Me’ just feels a bit too cruisy with no direction.
Throughout the album, the pace and tone remains at one level. There is next to no balance between the light and shade you’d expect on a 14 track album and while her voice is unique and special, it starts to grate on you because of the lack of diversity that features here.
It’s been super hard to stomach as I’ve loved her other albums and how she’s brought them together – this one just doesn’t click.
There is one glimpse of hope though in the shape of ‘Where We Going Now’. Focusing on an extremely dark topic (suicide) the song captures the emotion and devastation it can leave in its wake. And the way it’s been captured is truly stunning. While the emotion is welcome here, is disappointingly missing from the rest of the album.
I do genuinely hate having to leave a negative review, especially for an artist I’ve always loved, but this is truly a horrible collection of songs.
They needed some more time in development to get to a point where there was a bit more consistency and dynamic balance.
But if you’re looking for the soundtrack to your gap year roadtrip that has deep meaning, this album may be for you.
VERDICT : 1/5.
MUST LISTEN : Where We Going Now.