July 12, 2011

The Tampa Tribune: Bedingfield to brighten Ybor show with sunny pop



by MacKenzie Mount | The Tampa Tribune

Bedingfield brings her 'everyone is special' message to The RITZ Ybor on Thursday

Natasha Bedingfield wants you to feel special.

"I do feel like we're all incredibly special, and we don't understand how unique and powerful we are," she said during a telephone call from Dallas last week.

The British pop artist thought of singing such sentiments when crafting her latest album "Strip Me," much of which she will perform Thursday at The RITZ Ybor on her Less Is More tour.

"I actually wrote this whole album with the live show in mind," she said. "The more honest I am, the more open, it seems to have more response from people."

The 29-year-old singer/songwriter's lyrics resound with optimistic introspection -- inspirational sentiments ripe for dismissal as the stuff of pop and pop stars' circumstance. "Pocketful of Sunshine," Bedingfield's 2008 hit single, could well be a nickname for an oeuvre replete with cheek-burning cheer.

Earnestness is an easy target, but sans melody, Bedingfield still sings the same tune.

"Everyone is special," she said, but we're all snowflakes in the same drift.

"I think we're all human, and we all go through the same stuff. Whatever position you are in life, you still have issues. You still have brokenness in your life."

Easy-bake, sing-along lyrics about being true to yourself aside, an empowering sentiment stands.

"It's kind of daring someone," she said of the philosophy behind her album. "'If you strip me.' It's kind of aggressive. You can knock me down. You can squash me. You can strip me away, the stuff that you see on the outside, because that's not who I am."

Bedingfield's roots-pop opener, Kate Voegele, 24, lauds her headliner's themes.

"That's what I love about Natasha, is that her music isn't just about [romantic] relationships," she said from Texas. "She's got some great songs that focus on the everyday aspect of life … the human experience."

Voegele, too, aspires to inspire, though her newest record, "Gravity Happens," hits its share of love notes.

"I definitely try to write about a variety of things, but what I want more than anything is ... if I can make somebody feel better."

With: Kate Voegele and Andy Grammer
When: Thursday, July 14, 2011 | Pre-Party: 5:30pm | Show: 7:30pm
Where: The RITZ Ybor, 1503 E. Seventh Ave., Tampa
Cost: $20 to $50; (813) 248-9210 or (813) 229-7827

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