STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 11944-60 LABEL: Polydor 9868637 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2004-11-08 RRP: £14.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
I've just finished reading an exasperating review of this album in the Guardian by a reviewer so anti-Christian faith and family values that he ties himself up in knots praising Daniel's enormous talents yet sneering at his worldview. Another review in Q acknowledges an artist "mature beyond his years" but suggests that for many, "Bedingfield has a slappable face." I suppose such petulant journalistic displays from such an avowedly secularist media are only to be expected particularly when confronted with a singer prepared to sing lyrics which show up the romantic illusions of the spiritually blind ("a kiss without commitment's like a flower without the rain") is prepared to be courageously honest for the hurt he caused his sisters for his years of attention deficit hyperactivity ("ADD is my excuse/And with my excuse I shot you down/And I know I've got to change/But I can never work out how") and a song which deftly reveals the gulf between the believer and the non-believer ("I wrestle with the here and now/'Cause you're here now/It breaks my heart that your alluring eyes/Are blind to what I see"). Like its predecessor, this album is breathtakingly eclectic from the U2-tinged stadium rock of "The Way" to the modern R&B grooves of "Growing Up" and "Complicated" to the wistful balladry which critics are quick to vilify but which in fact show Daniel to be one of the most soulful interpreters of a lyric for decades. There will surely be some big hits on this set. Ironically, though, I doubt whether my absolute favourite will come out on a single - it might have a delightful neo-Motown groove to it but a song called "Holiness" will surely be unacceptable in this perverse culture of ours.
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