Daniel Bedingfield

Daniel Bedingfield

Gotta Get Thru This

Island

New Zealander Daniel Bedingfield climbed to the top of the UK charts with his bedroom-recorded first single “Gotta Get Thru This,” a nice slice of white soul pop. And while that track, as well as much of this debut full-length, may at first remind you of any number of the boybands you so rightly despise, there is much more to Bedingfield than that — he writes, performs and produces the main portions of his music by himself, and he has a scope and a considered diversity that stretch far beyond the borders of such genre categorizations.

Now, Gotta Get Thru This may not be a stunningly good album, but both Bedingfield’s sheer craftsmanship and some individual tracks on here show that he, perhaps surprisingly, has it in him to do so. The title track has already been mentioned, while other notables include the fine “He Don’t Love You Like I Love You,” the reggae-ish vocal styling of “Friday,” and the cabaret pop of “I Can’t Read You.” The true highlights of the album, however, come with the unoriginal, but impressively classy “Honest Questions,” and “Inflate My Ego,” a twisted funk jam that’s based around “Peter Gunn Theme,” and actually manages to get away with it. Imagine that.

There are quite a few fillers on here, and Bedingfield leans dangerously close to generic pretty-boy pop from time to time. But he repeatedly comes across as too left of the center to blend in with those guys — he seems genuinely inspired and dedicated, and it shows in his music. At its finest, Gotta Get Thru This shimmers with naive arrogance and playful pop sensibilities, and is Bedingfield’s first promising steps on what looks to be an exciting career.

Island Records: http://www.islandrecords.com/

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