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Upbeat Bedingfield CD soars above Staind's dismal mix

Album reviews

Album reviews

August 16, 2005|by HIRA ZEB

That thundering sound you heard last week was Staind fans rushing into local music and entertainment stores to buy their copy of Staind's long-awaited new album, "Chapter V."

Having heard their already overplayed radio single, "Right There," for months, I decided to stop by a store to listen to the whole CD, and decide whether my money would be put to good use.

This is Staind's fifth album, and sounds much like a hybrid of their previous albums. Which is to say, the vocals seem very depressing throughout the album.

For example, in the opening track, "Run Away," lead singer Aaron Lewis sings, "I've mastered feeling nothing/I'm dead inside/Why don't I care?"

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The remainder of the band complements the vocals with ominous instrumentals and dense, electronic sound. An acoustic guitar makes its appearance in only two songs, "Devil" and "Everything Changes," which are easily the best tracks on "Chapter V."

Although this album is not altogether horrible, it sounds like all past Staind albums. I would not say that this is an album to remember.

I looked around the aisles for other new releases in various genres of music, and one name caught my eye.

Natasha Bedingfield just released "Unwritten," her American debut album, two weeks ago. If her last name rings a bell, it's perhaps because her brother is the well-known Daniel Bedingfield. (Does the song "If You're Not the One" sound familiar?)

Natasha Bedingfield has made a mark at the top of the charts in the United Kingdom and has struck gold here as well. Her single, "These Words (I Love You, I Love You)," has been playing on radio stations recently.

But the remaining songs on her album by far surpass the aforementioned single.

Bedingfield's music is R&B meets electro-pop; her classic, melodic voice shines through. This is a truly brilliant and catchy album, perfect to accompany a run or a long summer drive, the kind of music you can sing along to with your windows down.

The album has an excellent track list, with songs that are written by Bedingfield herself. Her lyrics are lighthearted and amusing. In her song "These Words," Bedingfield sings "Threw some chords together/ the combination D, E, F/ it's who I am/ It's what I do - But I feel so ADD."

She uses her music to express her ADD mood. You can hear the beating drums, the striking guitar, the choirs, elegant pianos and other instruments.

I most definitely recommend this album for anyone who is in the mood to listen to upbeat and catchy tunes, the opposite of Staind's latest.

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