QuickTakes

Natasha Bedingfield

“Strip Me”
(Phonogenic Records)

Perhaps best known for her track “Unwritten” from her debut album, or for her recent performance at the White House, Natasha Bedingfield recently released her third studio album in the U.S., continuing her trend of writing uplifting and vocal-heavy tracks. Accompanied mostly by percussion and a fair amount of piano, the lyrics themselves stand out as usual, such as in tracks “Weightless” and “Can’t Fall Down.” The most striking aspect of the album is how genuine the lyrics are, full of emotion and honesty, especially on the title track. Bedingfield’s newest album is perfect for fans of Yael Naim and Kate Nash.

Kelsey Grashoff


Talib Kweli

“Gutter Rainbows”
(Javotti/3D)

Kweli originally gained fame from connections to mainstream, high-profile artists like will.i.am and Justin Timberlake, but this album shows his complete departure from the mainstream pop/hip-hop world. He raps as a storyteller on “Tater Tot,” beginning with a political speech, complete with gunshots and other wartime sound effects. Kweli’s life on the road is chronicled in “Mr. International,” with a sample from Leon Russell’s “A Song for You” in the chorus. Overall, it stands out from his past albums – true Talib Kweli fans will enjoy.

Marissa Driscoll

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