Thursday, 6 May 2010

2004 Natasha Bedingfield: These Words

A song from arch bore Dan's kid sister all about how hard it is to write a love song - a sailor on the receiving end of such a set of omens would think twice about taking his ship out of dock, but Bedingfield minor confounds my lazy expectations by turning in a playful song that bends the rules with an energy that all but fizzes. It's not rocket science; an R&B beat overlain with some Dust Brothers scratching and a vocal/lyric from Bedingfield that leaps around like a jumping jack gives 'These Words' a genuine unpredictableness, but in an anti-clever arse kind of way that in its own way is very clever indeed. Natasha's attempts to find inspiration in the love poetry of "Byron, Shelly and Keats" fall flat ("I'm having trouble saying what I mean, with dead poets and drum machines") in the face of a simple "These words are my own, from my heart flow. I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you", a statement of repetition that at once both turns cliché into smile achingly honesty ("Can't think of a better way, and that's all I've got to say, I love you, is that okay?") and is also a nifty dig at the wordy angst of writers who like to dress up their loves in thee's, thou's and exceedingly bad metaphor.* I could go on, but I'd just end up sounding as pretentious as the bores 'These Words' takes the mick out of, so I'll just say that hearing Bedingfield spin the hackneyed phrase "I love you" so hard that it comes out fresh is enough to put me in a good mood any time of the day.

* I wonder if she had her bro' in mind here and some of his wincers - "You can’t free a bird if it ain’t gone fly, you can’t live a life if you don’t ask why. Such a thing as too much information, trapped inside this condemnation". Indeed.

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