Album: Daniel Bedingfield

Second First Impression, POLYDOR

According to producer Jack Joseph Puig, Daniel Bedingfield is a mammoth talent to compare with the likes of Prince and Elton John. And even allowing for Puig's vested interests, Bedingfield's debut album Gotta Get Thru This displayed enough quality and diversity to suggest that he could successfully turn his hand to pretty much anything he pleased, if the fancy took him. But is mere fancy enough? Second First Impression is almost as diverse as its predecessor, darting hither and thither between R&B ballads such as "Wrap My Words Around You", U2-style sleek stadium rockers such as "The Way", skittering garage grooves like "Complicated", and even, in the grammatically-challenged "Don't Give'r It All", a kind of brusque urban-metal hybrid crossover. But at no point does Bedingfield actually seem committed to any of these styles in a way which might animate them with authentic conviction. The most interesting track - probably because it's the most personally motivated - is the piano ballad "Sorry", in which he confronts his own feelings about his sister Natasha's encroachment on his career turf: "You're my best friend/ No, you're not/ You're my sister, stay in your place/ I can't pretend that you're not threatening to me."

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