|N.B. / Pocketful of Sunshine|
International release cover
|Studio album by Natasha Bedingfield|
|Released||27 April 2007
(see release history)
|Recorded||2006-07; Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Producer||Natasha Bedingfield, Mike Elizondo, Danja, Tom Rothrock, Greg Kurstin, Matt Hauge, Steve Kipner, Wayne Rodrigues, Andrew Frampton, Wayne Wilkins|
|Natasha Bedingfield chronology|
North American release cover
|Singles from N.B.|
|Singles from Pocketful of Sunshine|
N.B. is the second studio album released by British singer-songwriter Natasha Bedingfield. It was released in the United Kingdom on 30 April 2007 through Phonogenic Records. Upon release the album was praised for Bedingfield's vocals and the fun theme to the records however some critics were disappointed noting that the material was not as catchy as her debut project, Unwritten. In the United Kingdom it produced two top ten hits, "I Want to Have Your Babies" and "Soulmate".
On 22 January 2008 the album was released in the United States and Canada under the name Pocketful of Sunshine with new packaging and an alternative track listing featuring only six of the original songs. The US version's title song became a top-five hit whilst the lead single, "Love Like This" with Sean Kingston, became a top-twenty hit. US critics said that although the album was definitely a pop record it felt inorganic and awkwardly assembled.
Composition and lyrics
"How Do You Do?", the opening track about flirting, features guitars and a horn section. "I Wanna Have Your Babies", the second track, was chosen as the lead single as it was a representation Bedingfield's shifting priorities from being a single young woman to "dating, searching for a partner" and "looking for Mr Right". The song discusses a woman's battle to stop herself from rushing into relationships in an effort to find the right man to be the father of her children. The song received mixed reviews from music critics, who generally found it to be less impressive than past releases, but its release was moderately successful, reaching the top forty in most countries. The second single, "Soulmate", is a ballad on which Bedingfield wonders if there is a partner for everyone.
"Who Knows", the fourth track, begins with a "reggae-pop vibe" which slowly progresses to an electro-style sound featuring a string section. It received positive reviews, with one reviewer stating that it was reminiscent of "Amy Winehouse's gruff vocal style and her sassiness". "Who Knows" was also featured in the motion picture 27 Dresses. The fifth track and third single is "Say It Again". It is co-written with Maroon 5's lead singer Adam Levine, who also provides backing vocals on the song. "Pirate Bones" discusses the pitfalls of celebrity and fame. On the song Bedingfield commented "if you're giving up your enjoyment of life for somebody else's idea of success, it's like being a pirate who's got his hoard of treasure and is sitting on an island where there are no shops to spend it. It doesn't mean anything."
The eighth track, "Tricky Angel", was inspired by R&B music and was composed around a series of piano loops. "When You Know You Know" features an orchestra and its lyrics discuss a failing relationship. The tenth track, "(No More) What Ifs", features a rap by Eve and received negative reviews, with The Guardian describing it as "an ill-advised move for all concerned". "Not Givin' Up", features a heavy urban beat with electronic sound effects in the background. The song was well received by critics because of its "near-certain crossover appeal for both sides of the Atlantic". "Still Here", the twelfth track, was originally recorded for the film Rocky Balboa in 2006, but was not included on the soundtrack. The song was later covered by Jennifer Hudson and included on her 2010 second album, I Remember Me.
N.B. received mixed to positive reviews from most music critics, but some criticised it for its lightweight content. In a review for The Guardian, Craig McLean wrote that the album has "nothing as catchy as Unwritten, the tunes are on the airy-fairy side of breezy, and the lyrics on the naff side of plain". The Times called the album "patchy and disappointing" and gave it two out of five stars, whilst Marie Claire magazine said that "many of the tracks are forgettable", but that Bedingfield's "strong voice and eccentricities elevate her above many blonde and bland popstars." The album was called "good clean fun, entertaining and inoffensive" by Yahoo!, but was also noted for its lack of risk taking and Bedingfield's decision to continue her "grown-up cartoon pop" rather than try something new and that there was little chance of it being considered a classic album. However, Entertainment.ie reviewer Sheena McGinley was less impressed, and wrote that it was "too embarrassing to listen to in public", rating the album two out of five stars.
Pocketful of Sunshine received generally positive reviews from pop music critics. Kerri Mason, Billboard reviewer, gave the album positive response. Mason wrote,"The album has an undeniable flip-flop feel throughout; like the unplugged soul-chick hoedown Beyoncé tried to conjure at the end of the "Irreplaceable" video." Christian Hoard of Rolling Stone wrote that "Bedingfield doesn't have much to say", but commented that "the packaging in which she wraps her openhearted thoughts makes Sunshine a decent little pop record". Bill Lamb of About.com noted that "unfortunately, her second solo album, massively reworked from her corresponding second album in the UK, is simply another professional, corporately polished pop record. Songs and vocals are reasonably solid..." but, he added, "it's hard to hear inspiration." Los Angeles Times was disappointed that "I Wanna Have Your Babies" was not included on Pocketful of Sunshine and wrote that "as awkward as the song is, it fleshes out Bedingfield's vision better than Jerkins' Mary J. Blige "Angel" or Rotem's Fergalicious "Piece of Your Heart". The album ending up receiving 2.5 stars out of 4. Allmusic gave the album a mixed review and described it as "awkwardly assembled", and added that it "feels inorganic in a way that Unwritten did not, less personal and more vetted by various A&R executives". Glenn Gambo in a review for Newsday gave the album C+ rating, and wrote that the album "barely registers" and was "full of pale copies of other successful pop [songs] that don't necessarily work for Bedingfield".
|Stylus Magazine||(B) link|
|Sydney Morning Herald||(positive)link|
|Pocketful of Sunshine|
|Entertainment Weekly||(B-) link|
|Los Angeles Times||link|
|Robert Christgau||(C+) link|
N.B. debuted on the UK Albums Chart at number nine on 6 May 2007, selling 19,500 copies in its first week  This would be the album's highest chart position and the only week it spent within the Top 20. The album spent a total of 13 weeks in the UK Top 100. Outside of the United Kingdom, the album failed to reach the top ten. In Ireland, N.B. debuted at number fourteen and in the Netherlands it reached number thirteen. It peaked outside the top twenty in Switzerland. In Australia, the album failed to enter the top one hundred, but peaked at number eleven on the Hitseekers albums chart.
Pocketful of Sunshine debuted on the Billboard 200 albums chart in the United States at number three, selling 49,000 copies. The first-week sales surpassed her debut album, Unwritten, which sold 34,000 copies its first week of release. The album has become the third highest debut by a United Kingdom-signed female artist in Billboard history, after Joss Stone, who entered at number two and now Leona Lewis, after her debut at number one. The album, however, quickly fell down the chart. After performing on American Idol, sales of the album and single "Pocketful of Sunshine" increased considerably. The album jumped from number 97 to number 24 on the Billboard 200, while the single charted within the top five on the Billboard charts. The album was certified Gold on 12 December 2008. To date it has sold more than 750,000 copies. In Canada, the album debuted at number thirteen.
"I Wanna Have Your Babies" was released as the lead single from N.B. on 2 April 2007. The single received mix reviews but reached number seven on the UK Singles Chart and reached the top 40 in most countries worldwide. "Soulmate" was released as the second single from the album on 2 July 2007. The single reached number seven on the UK Singles Chart and the top 20 in most countries worldwide, becoming even more successful than the album's lead single. "Say It Again", featuring Adam Levine was released as the third and final single from the album on 8 October 2007. The single failed to chart completely.
"Love Like This", featuring Sean Kingston, was released as the lead single from Pocketful of Sunshine. It was released on 25 September 2007. It was released on online music store on 2 October 2007. The single was a top 20 hit in U.S. reaching number 11 in Billboard Hot 100 and number 10 in Pop 100. The single was released in U.K. on 7 April 2008. "Pocketful of Sunshine", the title track of the album was chosen to be the second single. The song was sent to radio stations on 11 February 2008. The single reached number 5 on Billboard Hot 100 giving Bedingfield her second top 10 single. It also peaked number 3 in Canadian Hot 100. The single release date in the United Kingdom was canceled. This song is the theme song of Nickland in Germany. "Angel" was released as the third single from the album on 11 August 2008. In its first official week at radio, "Angel" started at #59 on Mediabase's Top 40 Chart with 318 spins and jumped to #40 in its second week. Phil Griffin was booked to direct the music video. It reached #63 at the US, #35 at the US pop, #1 at the US dance and #41 at the Canadian Hot 100. "Soulmate" was released as the fourth and final single from the album on 9 December 2008. Bedingfield performed the song in a medley at the American Music Awards and on Dancing with the Stars. On 25 November 2008 Bedingfield confirmed "Soulmate" to be the fourth single while introducing the song at her Sophie's Lounge performance on Sophie @ 103.7. It only reached number 96 on the Hot 100, however.
|1.||"How Do You Do?"||
|2.||"I Wanna Have Your Babies"||
|5.||"Say It Again"||
|9.||"When You Know You Know"||
|10.||"I Think They're Thinking (Interlude)"||0:58|
|11.||"(No More) What Ifs" (featuring Eve)||
|12.||"Not Givin' Up"||
|13.||"Still Here"||Diane Warren||Guy Roche||3:56|
|14.||"Smell the Roses"||
|Canadian iTunes Store bonus tracks|
|15.||"Loved by You"||2:35|
Pocketful of Sunshine
|1.||"Put Your Arms Around Me"||Bedingfield, Steve Kipner, Andrew Frampton, Wayne Wilkins||Natasha Bedingfield, Steve Kipner, Andrew Frampton, Wayne Wilkins||3:43|
|2.||"Pocketful of Sunshine"||Bedingfield, Danielle Brisebois, John Shanks||John Shanks||3:23|
|3.||"Happy"||Bedingfield, Toby Gad, Meleni Smith||Toby Gad||3:40|
|4.||"Love Like This" (featuring Sean Kingston)||Louis Biancaniello, Rico Love, Ryan Tedder, Sam Watters, Wilkins, Kisean Anderson, Bedingfield||Wayne Wilkins, Sam Watters,
Ryan Tedder, Louis Biancaniello
|5.||"Piece of Your Heart"||Bedingfield, Johnathan Rotem, Drisebois||J. R. Rotem||3:47|
|6.||"Soulmate"||Bedingfield, David Tench, Mads Hauge||Patrick Leonard,
|7.||"Say It Again" (featuring Adam Levine)||Bedingfield, Levine, Mike Elizondo||Mike Elizondo||3:32|
|8.||"Angel"||Rodney Jerkins, Love, LaShawn Daniels, Crystal Johnson||Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins||4:08|
|9.||"Backyard"||Bedingfield, Greg Kurstin||Greg Kurstin, Natasha Bedingfield||3:27|
|10.||"Freckles"||Bedingfield, Gad||Toby Gad||3:46|
|11.||"Who Knows"||Bedingfield, Elizondo||Mike Elizondo||3:46|
|12.||"Pirate Bones"||Bedingfield, Kipner, Frampton, Wilkins||Natasha Bedingfield, Steve Kipner, Andrew Frampton, Wayne Wilkins||3:52|
|13.||"Not Givin' Up"||Bedingfield, Nathaniel Hills, Kipner||Danja||3:49|
|North American iTunes Store bonus tracks|
|14.||"Unwritten" (Stripped acoustic version)||4:08|
|15.||"Love Like This" (Acoustic from Bleu Room) (Pre-order only)||3:25|
|16.||"Cheer Me Up" (Pre-order only)||3:22|
|Japanese bonus tracks|
Credits and personnel
The following people contributed to N.B.:
- Lead vocals and various instruments — Natasha Bedingfield
- Backing vocals — Adam Levine, Nikola Bedingfield, Danielle Brisebois, Jessica Collins
- Keyboards — Charles Judge, Adam MacDougall, Jonas Myrin, Wayne Rodrigues
- Guitar — Nick Lashley
- Engineers — Ryan Freeland, Adam Hawkins, Wayne Rodrigues, Brian Scheuble
- Mixed by Marcella "Ms. Lago" Araica, Adam Hawkins, Greg Kurstin, Mark "Spike" Stent
- Photography by John Akehurst
- Art direction/design by Joanne Morris
Pocketful of Sunshine
The following people contributed to Pocketful of Sunshine:
|United Kingdom||2007-04-30||RCA Label Group||CD||88697076452|
|Canada||2008-01-03||Sony BMG||Digital download|
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- [dead link]
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