1,000 Stars: First Look.

By Adem | February, 8, 2009 | 14 comments

NATALIE BASSINGHTHWAIGHTE
1,000 Stars
[SONYBMG] C+

When Natalie Bassinghthwaighte left the Rogue Traders to persue her solo career/read autocue on live television, few outside of the bands hardcore fan-base were surprised. The followers, however, were left high and dry after promises from Natalie months earlier that she would concentrate on a solo career and remain as a Rogue Trader. And even though there are a number of people still a little annoyed, still harbouring a smidge of resentment toward her and the way she departed (myself definitely included), it’s been hard to escape Bassingthwaighte-fever since the beginning of 2009. Almost 9 months after Nat’s departure announcement, Bas delivers this, her largely anticipated solo debut album effort 1,000 Stars.

It’s certainly no LoveAngelMusicBaby, and debut single “Alive” is most definitely no “What You Waiting For” (the absolute benchmark for a debut solo single for a female pop star who’s come into light through another musical project), but there’s some incredibly strong material on this album; you just have to make it through the records first five songs before you find it. Opening with the Xenomania-inspired “Catch Me If You Can”, it’s all a little too familiar and, as the four songs which follow do as well, comes across as sounding a little too safe. Second single “Someday Soon” still goes completely over my head, upcoming single “1,000 Stars” is nice enough, but really, we’re more than content with the one Delta Goodrem, Natalie. What’s worse, “Not For You” sounds like it should be sung by Katy Perry or Avril Lavigne circa-2002. Skip-skip-skip; it’s possibly the most horrific thing NatBas has put her name to.

Things (finally) pick up with “Feel The Flow”, which (tellingly, perhaps) is one of two tracks on 1,000 Stars which sound most like Nat and her former Roguey bandmates. “Could You Be Loved” is incredibly immense; think Geri Halliwell’s epic trance-romantic stomper “Love Never Loved Me” meets Giorgio Mororder – a class act, and the darkest moment on Stars.

“Supersensual” is spikey-as-hell, combining a Swedish-pop production sound together with an obvious homage to Blondie, whilst “Why Do I” takes on that all-too-familiar Timbaland sound that ran rampant throughout 2007 and 2008, yet meshes it into a slick, ballad format which works incredibly well. “Turn The Lights On” is Eurovision ready, whilst “This Can’t Be Love” is probably the best moment on here. No surprises then that this is the second one that reminds you of her former pop incarnation.

At the end of it all, this is a solid pop album. There’s some absolute rubbish on here, and three okay-to-terrible single choices, but overall, NatBas has certainly done a more than decent job of this.

Your call now, Rogue Traders. Who, may I remind you, have only ever evoked A-and-above grade reviews from me for all three of their albums.

14 Responses to 1,000 Stars: First Look.

  • Mike

    I think she’s utterly VILE and nothing I’ve heard from the album has changed that opinion. The Rogue Traders are better off without her. Now they can go back to amazing music of their debut album.

  • Paul

    I’ve never really been blown away by natalie’s solo stuff, but i do have this album now and may give it a listen whilst reading your review. She looks like she is wearing a really cheap negligee from fountain gate mall on the cover :P

  • Aaron

    Great!!! – I’ve loved both of her solo singles – I can’t wait for the album!!!!

  • JenRalo

    Err Mike, you do realize that James Ash and Steve Davis had already crafted the Rogue Traders’ current sound before Natalie joined, right? They are not going back. So your comment is utterly stupid…

    Anyway – as for this album I pretty much agree with this review, although I find the first half very enjoyable and then it starts to slide towards the end with Why Do I, Turn The Lights Off, and This Can’t Be love being the strongest of the second half. Superhuman is rubbish and Love Like This feels like a big Kylie rip off.

    Also, Feel The Fire = Feel The Flow, & Supernatural = Supersensual. Leaked version has incorrect titles and spelling.

  • Yuri

    Ouch! B- must smart a bit after all those ace Rogue Trader A’s. Oh well, you are spot on about the songs being hit or miss. I do like “Supernatural” very much and even think I hear some Olivia Newton-John-ishness in there as well as Blondie.

  • I Am A Giant Cunt

    Thank you for your worthless opinion.
    I think everybody expected her solo stuff to be not so great, however i think Nat has really surprised her fans with this incredible debut solo album.
    The sound is very eclectic, poppy and exactly what she wanted to release.
    Could You Be Loved is an amazing single, one that can be compared to Chicane’s haunting house anthem; Saltwater.
    Maybe you need to spend less time appreciating rubbish that Gwen releases (which, by the way, is a disgraceful comparison. She sold out harder than anything ever witnessed in the history of music) and more time realising that Nat went from a pop rock band to releasing a pop album. She’s a pop singer and has done a fantastic job of it.

    And for the record, i’m sure all the fans that have downloaded the leaked version of 1000 Stars will still buy it when it’s officially released to support this amazing, jack and master of all trades.

    Kind regards
    One of nat’s lambs
    :)

  • Adem

    I was wondering how long it would take a Nat fan to jump down my throat.

    Hello “me”.

    My pleasure.

    I’m just curious to know how you can say a pop star like Gwen “sold out harder than anything ever witnessed in the history of music), when you, yourself, are a pop music fan? I don’t really believe in the term “selling out”, but hey, that’s my opinion, one in which we are all entitled to without being told it is worthless.

    You’re right. She is a pop singer. There are some great pop songs on this album. There are also some rubbish ones. That is my assessment of this album as a review. I see you’ve managed to completely skip over any of the parts in the review that were positive.

  • JenRalo

    I am a huge Natalie fan but I still agree with the majority of this review. It’s a good album, but not amazing. Although it is a thousand times better live…

    (PS – the titles still need correcting in the review)

  • Adem

    I actually really look forward to seeing Nat do the album live, she’s always impressed on stage.

    (Thanks for the reminder JenRalo, fixed now! :) )

  • Chris

    I’m a fan of Natalie and I do like the majority of the album, the title track & “Why Do I?” being my personal favourites but I do think that she switches from genres too fast. I do think that “Feel The Flow” sounds like it wouldn’t go a miss on Holly Valance’s “State of Mind” album. I do think it’s an overall good album, I was hoping for better but it’s not bad at all.

  • Will-W.

    Yah I watched her video on Perez for her latest single; can’t say I was particularly floored by it. But wow! Look at the reaction you got from this review alone. Now THAT’s Blogging.

  • emma

    go you with the contraversy

  • I'm STILL A Giant Cunt

    Dear Adem :)

    I appreciate that u sprinkled ur slagging of Natalie with some not-so-negative comments, however, the majority of it was uncalled for.
    Gwen DID sell out. She went from doing real music with No Doubt (“Don’t Speak” comes to mind) to releasing absolute garbage such as “Wind It Up”.
    I’m a fan of artists who are in the pop genre to start with, not ones that jump on the bandwagon later, strip half there clothes off, rip off other pop singers just to make a few extra bucks.

    U can throw the whole “It’s my opinion and i am entitled to it”, but lets face it, this isn’t a real review. this, to me, sounds like a wannabe-critic who uses big-people phrases such as ““Not For You” sounds like it should be sung by Katy Perry or Avril Lavigne circa-2002.” and ““Turn The Lights On” is Eurovision ready” to try and sound professional but comes across as arogant and amatuer.

    Good luck with ur many other interesting and productive “reviews”

    Love and chocolate
    One of Nat’s lambs

  • Adem

    I appreciate that YOU sprinkled YOUR slagging of my review with some correctly spelt words, however, the majority of it was like reading a text message. Go “u”!

    Oh, and I get paid for my reviews. I’ve been doing them since 2002. Your opinion may be that my reviews are that of an amateur, but there are a number of editors across Australia who disagree and, at the end of the day, I’m assuming you’re not in publishing so your views on whether I’m a good writer or not mean fuck all to me.

    Arrogant has two R’s.