Natasha Bedingfield: Roll With Me review – Attempts to sound contemporary fall flat

Getty Images for Chrysalis Butte
Getty Images for Chrysalis Butte

It’s well over a decade since Natasha Bedingfield was at the top of pop’s tree, earning Grammy and Brit nominations, selling a million copies of her debut album here and scoring three platinum singles in the US.

Since then she hasn’t been putting out music at the rapid rate required to stay on the A-list — this is only the 37-year-old’s fourth album and her first since 2010.So no one will be expecting her to square up to Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift at this point, though she does have a big name behind her.

Roll With Me was written with Linda Perry, the woman behind megahits for Christina Aguilera and Pink such as Beautiful and Get the Party Started, and is being released on Perry’s label. Its occasional attempts to sound contemporary fall flat, as with the bland electronic blipping of No Man I See, but Bedingfield’s strong voice suits the mature, soulful style she adopts on Everybody Come Together and the grandiose Wishful Thinking.

The original fans of her perky early hits, such as Unwritten and These Words, could well be Radio 2 listeners by now, so this calmer, milder style may be exactly what they’re seeking.