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Record Rating: ***

Daniel Bedingfield - Second First Impression - Universal Music His first single, which conquered the dance clubs worldwide, was produced by him at home simply with the use of a computer and a mic. On the strength of that song alone, he was besieged with offers from record companies and snagged a multi million dollar deal. The result was a number one album Gotta Get Thru This, two number one singles and a nomination for a bunch of Brit Awards.

Second First Impression is the highly anticipated follow-up to the first massively successful release, and at first listen it wonít disappoint anybody. He seems to be raring to go after recovering from a car crash in 2004 which nearly killed him after he broke his neck. Ballads are a Bedingfield staple and are here in abundance on the eleven track play list. The album opens though on a funky note with the first single Growing Up borrowing from an 80ís pop vein, as the subsequent Show Me The Real You and Don't Give'r It All. For a singer born in New Zealand and brought up in sunny London, Bedingfield has managed to nail down a beat that has most of the world clamouring for everything he does.

Produced and mixed by Jack Joseph Puig, the man behind the likes of No Doubt, Beck and the Goo Goo Dolls, the tracks have a steady flow going through them. And fans looking for another enchanting and wedding-ready ballad like If You're Not The One will not be disappointed. The tracks Sorry and Nothing Hurts Like Love are coy, without the Robbie Williams cynical aspect. Nuances of a young Sting and the 80ís Michael Jackson permeate his music, his lyrics and his vocal style, and it doesnít hurt either. But Bedingfield might need to polish himself up and get out of his 80ís and early 90ís groove, if he wants to stick around.

For since his first album, his little sister Natasha has now overtaken him in record sales with a number one single and album, making Britney and Justin Timberlake like pop records. And that does seem to be the new wave of the Brit Charts at least. Still, even if it doesnít do as well as the first effort, Second First Impression is a neat try, and gets the thumbs up for taking his music a different place than expected on this album.

Read our other reviews:

Ray Charles - Genius Loves Company       Maroon 5 - Songs About Jane       Jennifer Lopez - Rebirth       Joss Stone - Mind, Body & Soul      


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