Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Butterfly, Mar 19, 2020.
Where We Going Now
Average Score: 6.733
Highest Scores: 9.25 x 1 (Remorque), 9 x 2 (Sprockrooster, pop3blow2)
Lowest Scores: 1 x 1 (Hurricane Drunk)
Where We Going Now is the latest Roll With Me track to roll right out of this rate pity me I'm really struggling to not use the same intro for each write-up ddd. It's an understated track, definitely a welcome breather following It Could Be Love. Sonically it's sound, but the lyrics let it down a little for me. They're just a little nondescript prior to the bridge, whereas her discography feels built on these super-specific wordy verses.
pop3blow2 (9) seemed to enjoy it (Very understated and pretty. Her vocal is great here) & RUNAWAY (8.7) was also a fan of the middle 8 (this song really evolved in the middle-8 and I really connected to it).
OspreyQueen (7.5) was touched by the track during quarantine (Not a particularly amazing song but I LOVE the corner store lyric. I always go to convenience stores to buy stuff I don’t really need just so I can say I did something that day. And right now I rarely even get to do that!!).
When You Know You Know
Average Score: 6.736
Highest Scores: 10 x 1 (RUNAWAY, abael), 9 x 2 (pop3blow2, Sail On)
Lowest Scores: 2 x 1 (Hurricane Drunk)
When You Know You Know is the next N.B. track to leave the rate. It's a throwback R&B/Soul track, so it seems a shame that it wasn't included on Pocketful of Sunshine given that she went full-R&B for Angel.
pop3blow2 (9) favoured the production (A very nice track, which I maybe I enjoy more than some the actual song. All in all it’s a keeper, though).
RUNAWAY (10) was head over heels (YES. I love retro throwback songs and this song has always been one of my favorite NB songs, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE her vocals here).
OspreyQueen (4) was unimpressed (This one seems to be truncated on Apple Music and I can’t say I mind it ending early).
Can't Look Away
Average Score: 6.75
Highest Scores: 9.5 x 1 (tylerc904)
Lowest Scores: 2 x 1 (RainOnFire)
Roll With Me has no room to breathe as Can't Look Away becomes our next elimination. There's a distinct album-closer (or at least penultimate track) feel about this one, so its placement in the middle of the tracklist is a little odd.
RUNAWAY (7) wishes it was longer (was over way too quickly. I could’ve used another minute of this song to build an actual connection to it).
I'm okay with those two going from Roll With Me and When You Know You Know is a prime example of some of the dirge form her early albums that needs to get filtered out at this point.
Can't Look Away is stunning, definitely my favorite from the underrated Roll With Me!
Frogs and Princes
Average Score: 6.755
Highest Scores: 10 x 1 (Robsolete), 9 x 1 (abael)
Lowest Scores: 2 x 1 (fatyoshi), 3 x 1 (Sail On)
Frogs and Princes kicks off tonight's eliminations, the 2nd Unwritten track to leave after Sojourn became the first 25 eliminations ago. The song wasn't included on the US edition of the album, and I wonder if that's partly to blame for its poor showing?
Epic Chocolat (6) thinks there's a sonic/lyric mis-match (I like the theme and the music but not together).
pop3blow2 (8.25) somehow manages to both compliment and insult the song at the same time (An edged up Radio Disney bop).
RUNAWAY (7.1) thinks its omission from the US edition was deserved (I really like this cute song, but again, it’s kind of forgettable in the whole scheme of the album, so totally understandable as to why it was left off the international versions).
OspreyQueen (8.5) thinks the song would fare well in 2020 (I’m kinda shook by how fresh this production sounds? It could easily be a Mabel or M.O song).
Cheer Me Up
Average Score: 6.76
Highest Scores: 10 x 1 (RUNAWAY, tylerc904), 9 x 1 (Butterfly)
Lowest Scores: 4 x 1 (Verandi), 4.2 x 1 (myblood)
Cheer Me Up is next out, becoming the first new track to leave from Pocketful of Sunshine. The track was an iTunes pre-order bonus track... for what was already a North American regional release of the album, so it's safe to say it's something of a rarity. To add to the weirdness, Victoria Justice also released a version of the song on the 3rd Victorious soundtrack.
RUNAWAY (10) thinks it deserves a wider audience (a pre-order ONLY track?! I forgot all about this song, and I don’t know how, because it’s fucking brilliant. The vocals and chorus here are fantastic, and this deserved so much more than a digital only non-release.)
Smell The Roses
Average Score: 6.805
Highest Scores: 10 x 1 (RUNAWAY), 9 x 1 (pop3blow2)
Lowest Scores: 5 x 3 (DJHazey, Verandi, RainOnFire)
N.B. isn't spared tonight, as Smell The Roses is eliminated. It's a stripped back album-closer, with a similar existential theme to Unwritten's Wild Horses/Sojourn. I actually think it features some of Natasha's best songwriting.
RUNAWAY (10) is also a fan of the lyrics (love love love this closer. Love the verses about oxygen, flowers, the mundane things about shoelaces...I love how she writes. She really has a way to her lyrics that just resonates with you. The do-do, do-do-do-do melody is so simple as well, but so perfectly fits the song).
pop3blow2 (9) felt this was a stronger moment on the album (This kind of modern throwback soul direction just feels so much better for her in this era), OspreyQueen (8) does too (The stripped-back and restrained feel of this one weirdly makes it stand out over all the bland attempts at bops on this album).
Average Score: 6.805
Highest Scores: 11 x 1 (RainOnFire), 9 x 1 (vague)
Lowest Scores: 4 x 1 (fatyoshi)
Tonight we have our first and only tie of the rate, as Recover & Smell The Roses received exactly the same scores. Sadly @RainOnFire's 11 couldn't manage better than joint 56th place and it becomes the first 11 to leave the rate! Lyrically the song is an anthem for perseverance and strength, it screams #1 for 10 weeks if it was released by some boring male band like Coldplay, but alas our pop girls are rarely so lucky.
pop3blow2 (8.75) seems to think Recover is a strong closing statement (While there’s a few shakier moments towards the end of the album, this a pretty solid album closer. This song seems mixed kinda badly for my ears, though. Anyways. I think Strip Me might be her best all around album. I thought that at the time, but admittedly didn’t come back to a lot… so as such I doubted my own opinion. Still, listening to its again, it the most sonically cohesive for me & there’s only one absolute clunker to me on here).
RUNAWAY (7) seems to have been bored (this was not my favorite here. Her vocals were great, but the song wasn’t really very exciting. I don’t see myself coming back to it very often).
Two sets of eliminations tomorrow to make up for Wednesday's lack of one.
The N.B. / Pocketful of Sunshine cull continues, and we return to the features/miscellaneous section.
We will recover
The worst is over now
All those fires we've been walking through
And still we survived, somehow
We will recover
The worst is behind
And it hurts but in time
I know that we will recover
She loves herself a good empowerment song and tends to go about it in the cheesiest way possible, but Recover is one of the only times that I feel like she approaches the subject with nuance. It's not always just about being positive and putting a smile on your face and dancing in the sunlight and whatever - this time around, she's actually acknowledging that she had to go through something awful and traumatic, but is still willing to believe that there's a tiny shred of hope to still hold onto to get through it.
Not only that, but the situation is still unresolved - she hasn't recovered, but she will recover. I mean, come on growth! Yes, acknowledge that recovery takes time and patience and resilience, and isn't just about waking up one morning and smiling and feeling like the world is good again.
I seriously can't believe you guys eliminated it before Try and Happy and Freckles and whatever else she wrote using inspirationalquotes.com but okay.
I came very, very close to giving Cheer Me Up my 11. Didn't think it would do this dismal but oh well!
Frogs and Princes was done wrong.
You gotta, you gotta tip the waiter, that's how it works
You can't skip the starter, go straight to dessert
You gotta *pop* the cork before you taste the wine
Now make your mad dash for the finish line
Up in a row 'cause the dating game is
We get hooked up, but the real shame is
Too much connection, followed by rejection
Gonna hurt a girl, 'til she learns her lesson
Average Score: 6.86
Highest Scores: 10 x 2 (RUNAWAY, pop3blow2), 9.5 x 1 (tylerc904)
Lowest Scores: 2.5 x 1 (RainOnFire)
After being spared for the first half or so of the eliminations, Pocketful of Sunshine is no longer safe as Freckles becomes the next elimination just 3 spots after Cheer Me Up. I always had a soft spot for this one, as someone who was actually bullied for having freckles (kids are really wild), the lyrics are lowest common denominator self-empowerment, even for Natasha's standards, but not every track has to be some kind of lyrical masterpiece.
Verandi (6) finds the track a little nauseating (*pukes* I mean OK motivational songs were all the rage and the verses are cute, but that chorus… no mama no). Epic Chocolat (5) isn't far behind, although they appreciate the message (Good message, so-so delivery).
pop3blow2 (10) loves the track, as well as others like it from the mid-00s (Oooh, I love a good quirky girl acousti-bop. Were these Colbie Callat kind of songs a dime a dozen in the era? Sure, but that’s a dime well spent!)
RUNAWAY (10) goes one step further, saying the track is better than some iconic self-empowerment tracks (this is very “self-empowerment love yourself you’re perfect” anthem as was popular to do at the time, but this one really has stuck with me, way more than stupid Firework, Fucking Perfect, Beautiful Cause You Love Me *shudder*).
Between The Raindrops (Lifehouse feat. Natasha Bedingfield)
Average Score: 6.87
Highest Scores: 10 x 1 (Sprockrooster), 9 x 2 (RUNAWAY, Sail On)
Lowest Scores: 3 x 1 (myblood)
We return to the features section as Between The Raindrops falls next. I've never heard of Lifehouse outside of this track, though Wikipedia lists them as having sold 15 million records... good for them! My personal feelings are that Natasha isn't given enough room to shine here, so whilst the song itself is pretty nice she doesn't add anything to it.
Sprockrooster (10) needs help (Jason Wade can crack my bussy any damn time. I mean his voice makes me tinkle in places I will not mention on this forum. Also he is ageing damn fine actually. Between the raindrops? Between the damn sheets! Especially after that string of horrid male duets in this extra's section miss Wade coming in to save the day is even more sweet. Gorgeous).
pop3blow2 (8.75) also stans Lifehouse (This is really nice. Nothing earth shattering, but a nice tune & good ac/contemporary fold production. I have a soft spot for Lifehouse, too.. so sue me).
RUNAWAY (9) thinks this is one of the best collaborations in the rate (really really love this song, and their collaboration is one of my favorites here).
Jet Lag (Simple Plan feat. Natasha Bedingfield)
Average Score: 6.91
Highest Scores: 9 x 2 (Verandi, vague), 8.25 x 1 (pop3blow2)
Lowest Scores: 4 x 1 (Sprockrooster), 4.25 x 1 (Epic Chocolat)
Jet Lag leaves next at #52, #2 in the features section. Simple Plan are, again, a band I have never heard of. This song is a little weaker than the Lifehouse collaboration for me, although they give Natasha a bit more vocals and allow her to trade lines with the lead singer.
Wait where was your high score for Between The Raindrops @londonrain.
Also, I am beyond help. A bit of a kii this commentary made the thread title. Love it though!
I didn’t vote, precious... but even I wouldn’t have gone as far as “Jason Wade can crack my bussy any damn time.”
And a rate host claiming never to have heard of Lifehouse... that’s so Popjustice.
Jet Lag was my biggest discovery in this rate. It's basic as hell but yas give me that Disney Channel pop-rock nugget I deserve.
Average Score: 6.95
Highest Scores: 10 x 2 (RUNAWAY, myblood), 9.25 x 1 (pop3blow2)
Lowest Scores: 4 x 2 (RainOnFire, Verandi)
Who Knows, a track from both N.B. & Pocketful of Sunshine, is out next. The song puts a bit of a twist on the type of grittier track she perfected on Unwritten, to good results in my opinion. Although at 6.95, our final sub-7 score of the rate, it seems the overall feeling was so-so.
Verandi (4) wasn't impressed (Never liked this one), pop3blow2 (9.25) was on the other hand (Interesting little choices in the song, both vocally & production always hold my attention).
RUNAWAY (10) gains my respect with a Samantha Who mention, although it was 27 Dresses that featured the song (yaaaaaas I lived for this song, and I remember freaking out when it was used in I think Samantha Who or 27 Dresses….or something and I was LIVING. It still holds up, and I still had such a fantastic time replaying this song again and again for this rate).
Average Score: 7.022
Highest Scores: 10 x 1 (Sprockrooster)
Lowest Scores: 2.5 x 1 (OspreyQueen)
Hey Boy is next out, becoming both our first track in the top 50 and our first track with a 7+ average. The song was released as a single from the Served Like A Girl soundtrack, a film about female US Military veterans. The project was helmed by Linda Perry, marking the start of a collaboration between the two that would eventually lead to the Roll With Me album. The song's recording and release coincided with the early months of the #MeToo movement, as well as Natasha's first pregnancy with a baby boy.
RUNAWAY (6.7), our sole commentator, wasn't feeling it (pretty much went nowhere the entire time….).
Average Score: 7.027
Highest Scores: 10 x 1 (Verandi)
Lowest Scores: 4.5 x 1 (DJHazey)
Tricky Angel becomes yet another N.B. album track to face the chopping block. This one is... weird. It feels like a bunch of different songs stitched together and the vocal production has a demo-feel to it. That seems to work for a lot of you though?
Verandi (10) is a big fan (This is amazing. The piano is great and the subdued chorus actually works here. Deserved to be on the US edition instead of Who Knows or Pirate Bones).
pop3blow2 (8.75) seemed to have conflicting feelings (A weird little bop. A mood, for sure… but I like it).
RUNAWAY (8) thought this deserved an international release (cute, should’ve been on Pocketful instead of some of the other tracks).
Spoiler: Tomorrow's eliminations
One album loses four tracks.
Another loses one.
A bonus section loses a track (but will it be features or extras?).
@Butterfly sis I gave Tricky Angel a 7!
It's definitely a weird one... I remember thinking that it was one of her best songs, and I was so shocked when it was excluded from Pocketful (although I get why, I'm assuming they didn't want Angel and Tricky Angel on the same album). But revisiting it for this rate made me realize it was just fine. I like the R&B-ish vibe of it in any case.
Thankfully I just read the spreadsheet wrong, that was @DJHazey's 4.5.
Disappointed, but not surprised.
Last Chance (Nicki Minaj feat. Natasha Bedingfield)
Average Score: 7.08
Highest Scores: 10 x 1 (Butterfly), 9 x 1 (abael)
Lowest Scores: 3 x 1 (Sprockrooster), 4 x 1 (RainOnFire)
Last Chance bows out at #48, becoming the last feature to leave the rate. This write-up is about to be disproportionally long in comparison to its importance in Natasha's career, but what about it? The song has significance for me as it was how I discovered her music. I got Pink Friday for my 10th birthday in July 2011, and I vividly remember being on holiday ~two weeks later and Last Chance suddenly hitting me hard. The song is my 15th most played song of all time on Last.FM, which has been tracking my plays semi-religiously since 2013, so it's safe to say my love for it has never let up. That led to me finding Unwritten & Pocketful of Sunshine on YouTube before finally purchasing all her albums in early 2013.
I was actually lucky enough to meet Natasha last year and attend the soundcheck for her London show and I told her how much I loved this song since she had recently mentioned it during press. She said she had considered performing it but thought not enough people would know it - hopefully next time she wheels it out because I need to see it live in some capacity.
Lyrically the song details the fact that this is Nicki's big break as she released her album at the age of 28, which sadly is considered old for a female musician making their debut. Natasha serves as the 'hook girl', although she is also given the outro, with her parts serving to emphasise the message in Nicki's verses.
Sprockrooster (3) however, was not a fan (My gosh, it has been a while since I heard Nicki Minaj. And it to be this. Poor dat).
pop3blow2 (7.5) points out the oddity of the collaboration (This isn’t awful, but kind of weird collab if I’m being honest. Though, really I might consider NB the queen of odd collabs after this rate).
RUNAWAY (8.8) spills the tea (Natasha’s voice works so complimentary to Nicki’s and they sound so good together. Such a great track from one of the best rap albums of recent memory).
OspreyQueen (8) is reminded of a simpler time (I kinda forgot this existed in both of their discographies ddd. It’s really cute and reminds me of a time when shit wasn’t so fucked). Me too, me too.
I'm A Bomb
Average Score: 7.09
Highest Scores: 11 x 1 (abael), 9.5 x 1 (myblood), 9 x 2 (Remorque, Robsolete)
Lowest Scores: 4 x 1 (Sprockrooster), 4.5 x 1 (RainOnFire)
Unwritten is the next album to lose another track as I'm A Bomb peaks at #47. Whilst given the prominent #3 position in the tracklist, sandwiched between the singles, the song was cut from the US edition of the album - likely due to its brashness and American record execs being scared by the word 'bomb'. The song was, however, utilised in the closing scene of Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous - a masterpiece in cinema - so it won in the end.
Verandi (8) puts it simply (Banger!).
pop3blow2 (8.5) is maybe case-in-point why this was taken off the US edition of the album (I always felt this oddly edgy & even slightly problematic for a Natasha Bedingfield song. I think I kind like it for that reason).
RUNAWAY (7) is about to cancel Natasha in her own rate (I thought this was cute at the time of release, but I completely understand why this was left off the international version of the album. The mushroom cloud lyric is a big YIKES for me...).
Average Score: 7.12
Highest Scores: 9.6 x 1 (RUNAWAY), 9 x 1 (Verandi)
Lowest Scores: 4.5 x 2 (Epic Chocolat, Hurricane Drunk)
Size Matters continues Unwritten's losing streak. This one was also only on some editions of the album, though it was slightly more exposed being released in both the US & the UK. It's rather innuendo-filled for a Natasha song, but it works.
Verandi (9) can't help but enjoy the bop (*rolls eyes* but damn it's so catchy and stupid and fun).
pop3blow2 (8) thinks it's a cheap bop but that's ok (Frivolous pop fun, bordering on kinda forgettable. A bit of micro-bop, though).
RUNAWAY (9.6) is easily impressed by Natasha's primary school level innuendo (okay but let’s be real here. Natasha knew what she was doing when she titled this song. She knew us pervs would think she’s singing about a big dick, and I live for HER MIND).
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