Lovely and talented UK import Natasha Bedingfield sure has taken her time with third stateside release Strip Me and indeed, the twelve track Collection shows much artistic progression since her debut six years ago on the fantastic Unwritten. Although this Album really doesn't take many creative risks still, fans of Bedingfield's brand of Pop will be happy with her latest offerings nonetheless. You can't make a Butterfly sting like a Bee if anatomically it doesn't have a Stinger; the same can be said about Bedingfield's Music.
There are few tracks unworthy of a listen with Bedingfield clearly knowing her way around a Melody - her ability to write one and to bring it to life with that incredible instrument of hers. Strip Me on the whole is optimistic and self-empowering, which either can be your Cup of Tea or outright grating, depending who's on the receiving end of it all. The first pair of tracks, A Little Too Much and electro Arena-Rocker All I Need (ft. Kevin Rudolf), have a bit more of an edge than what we're accustomed to from Bedingfield without alienating Fans. The latter though admittedly resembles Rudolf's 2009 hit Let it Rock and this doesn't bode well on the Freshness Scale.
Admittedly I didn't think much of the Ryan Tedder-penned title track - the first single off this Disc - as it too seems a bit past its prime consumption date. Beautifully-produced efforts like Weightless and Try more than make-up for the bit of lackluster and Try's Chorus actually resembles that of Miley Cyrus' phenomenal Ballad When I Look at You - no coincidence as it likewise is Produced and Written by the talented John Shanks.
Swedish-based Kleerup who is responsible for some of Robyn's best work (i.e. With Every Heartbeat), contributes as a Writer/Producer on Break Thru, which is mid-'80s Synthesizer obsessed. No Mozart is a charming Ode to her Lover, expressing forgiveness for his imperfections: "You don't have to be a Mozart/If you just play it from the heart." Completely Fromage, but undeniably savoury - signature Bedingfield. Natasha Bedingfield's Strip Me, from Sony Music, is now in stores. Grade: A-