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N.B.
Studio album by Natasha Bedingfield
Released April 27, 2007
(See Release history)
Recorded 2006; Los Angeles, California
Genre Pop, R&B
Length 65:34
Label Phonogenic
Producer Natasha Bedingfield, Mike Elizondo, Tom Rothrock, Greg Kurstin, Matt Hauge, Steve Kipner, Wayne Rodrigues, Andrew Frampton, Wayne Wilkins
Professional reviews
Natasha Bedingfield chronology
Unwritten
(2004)
N.B.
(2007)
Pocketful of Sunshine
(2008)
Singles from N.B.
  1. "I Wanna Have Your Babies"
    Released: April 2, 2007
  2. "Soulmate"
    Released: July 2, 2007
  3. "Say It Again"
    Released: October 8, 2007

N.B. is the second album by pop singer-songwriter Natasha Bedingfield. It was released by RCA Label Group (UK) under the Phonogenic Label on April 30, 2007 in the United Kingdom. The album was not released in the U.S. or Canada, and a new album entitled Pocketful of Sunshine (which features six of the tracks from N.B. along with mostly new material) was released on January 22, 2008.

The album featured collaborations with American rapper Eve and Maroon 5's lead singer Adam Levine, and was influenced by hip hop music.[1] Most of the songs focus on love and relationships, as opposed to her debut, which dealt with independence and opportunism.

N.B. debuted to mixed reviews from contemporary music critics, receiving criticism due to its redundant lyrical content. The album produced two top ten singles in the UK. Because of N.B.'s mediocre success, it has been noted as a "sophomore slump".

Contents

Critical reception

N.B. received mostly average to negative reviews from music critics, many of whom criticised it for its lightweight content. In a review for the 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".[2] The Times called the album "patchy and disappointing" and gave it two out of five stars[3], 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."[4] 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.[5] 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.[6]

Chart performance

The album debuted on the UK Albums Chart at number nine on 6 May 2007, selling 19,500 copies in its first week [7] 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.[8]

Outside of the UK, the album failed to reach the top ten. In Ireland, N.B. debuted at number fourteen and in the Netherlands it reached number thirteen.[9] It peaked outside the top twenty in Switzerland.[9] In Australia, the album failed to enter the top one hundred, but peaked at number eleven on the Hitseekers albums chart.[10]

Songs

"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".[11] 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.[12] 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.[13] It received positive reviews, with one reviewer stating that it was reminiscent of "Amy Winehouse's gruff vocal style and her sassiness".[14]. "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."[11]

The eighth track, "Tricky Angel", was inspired by R&B music and was composed around a series of piano loops.[14] "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".[15] "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".[14] "Still Here", the twelfth track, was originally recorded for the film Rocky Balboa in 2006, but was not included on the soundtrack.[16]

Track listing

  1. "How Do You Do?" - 3:41
  2. "I Wanna Have Your Babies" - 3:37
  3. "Soulmate" - 3:32*
  4. "Who Knows" - 3:46 *
  5. "Say It Again" (featuring Adam Levine of Maroon 5) - 3:29*
  6. "Pirate Bones" - 3:46*
  7. "Backyard" - 3:27*
  8. "Tricky Angel" - 3:04
  9. "When You Know You Know" / "I Think They're Thinking" (Interlude) - 3:47
  10. "(No More) What Ifs" (featuring Eve) - 4:11
  11. "Not Givin' Up" - 3:46*
  12. "Still Here" - 3:57
  13. "Smell the Roses" Includes "Lay Down" and "Loved By You" (hidden tracks) - 17:18
European/Asian bonus tracks
  1. "Unwritten" Includes "Lay Down" and "Loved by You" (hidden tracks) - 18:09
Japanese bonus tracks
  1. "Unwritten"(Manny Marroquin mix)
  2. "Unwritten" (Live at the Nokia Theatre)
  3. "What Ifs" Includes "Lay Down" and "Loved by You" (hidden tracks)
  4. "I Wanna Have Your Babies" music video
iTunes exclusive
  1. "The Scientist" (Live) (Pre-order exclusive)
  2. "These Words" (Dwele remix) (Pre-order exclusive)
  3. "Unwritten" (Manny Marroquin mix)
  4. "Lay Down" - 3:30
  5. "Loved by You" - 2:35
iTunes Canada exclusive
  1. "Loved by You"
  2. "Stepping Stone"*
  3. "Lay Down"

Charts

Chart (2007) Peak
Position[9]
UK Albums Chart 9
Irish Albums Chart 14
Dutch Albums Chart 13
Swiss Albums Chart 37
German Albums Chart 80

Credits and personnel

The following people contributed to N.B.:[17]

Release history

These are the formats of major album releases of N.B.:

Country Date Label Format Catalog
United Kingdom 2007-04-30 RCA Label Group CD 88697076452[18]
Japan 2007-05-09 BMG Japan CD BVCP-24109[19]
Australia 2007-05-25 Sony BMG CD 88697077542[20]
Canada 2008-01-03 Sony BMG Digital Download

Notes

  1. ^ "Natasha Bedingfield: Hottest Baby-Craving Stalker Ever". Blender. Retrieved June 25, 2007.
  2. ^ Craig McLean. "Natasha Bedingfield, Soulmate". The Guardian. April 22, 2007. Retrieved June 26, 2007.
  3. ^ The Times (online edition) - review of NB (28 Apr 2007)
  4. ^ "N.B. by Natasha Bedingfield". Marie Claire. Retrieved June 26, 2007.
  5. ^ Dan Gennoe. "Natasha Bedingfield -'Soulmate'". Yahoo!. May 4, 2007. Retrieved June 26, 2007.
  6. ^ Sheena McGinley. "Natasha Bedingfield - Soulmate. Entertainment.ie. Retrieved June 26, 2007.
  7. ^ "Sales Decline Hits Albums and Singles". chart-refugees.com (originally from Music Week), May 6, 2007. Retrieved June 26, 2007.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ a b c World Charts. acharts.us. Retrieved August 4, 2007.
  10. ^ Australian Albums Chart. ARIA Charts. Retrieved June 19, 2007.
  11. ^ a b Artist Profile. EMI Music Publishing. Retrieved May 20, 2007.
  12. ^ "I Wanna Have Your Babies" Charts. musicsquare.net. Retrieved April 22, 2007.
  13. ^ Lizzie Ennever. "Soulmate" Album Review. BBC. Retrieved May 20, 2007.
  14. ^ a b c Soulmate Album Review. IndieLondon.co.uk. Retrieved May 20, 2007.
  15. ^ Alex Macpherson. "Soulmate Album Review. The Guardian. April 27, 2007. Retrieved May 20, 2007.
  16. ^ Keith Caulfield. Charting As Easily As 'Bruising?'. Billboard.com. November 10, 2006. Retrieved March 7, 2007.
  17. ^ Credits. Allmusic. Retrieved June 25, 2007.
  18. ^ Natasha Bedingfield N.B. Album (88697076452). eil.com. Retrieved March 16, 2007.
  19. ^ Natasha Bedingfield N.B. Album (BVCP-24109). eil.com. Retrieved March 16, 2007.
  20. ^ Natasha Bedingfield N.B. Album (88697077542). eil.com. Retrieved May 11, 2007.
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