Daniel Bedingfield – “Gotta Get Through This”

Released: 8.27.02

Peak: #10

Bedroom R&B has proven a less promising subgenre than anyone hoped or feared. Technological advances permit lovelorn shut-ins worldwide to voice their plaints, and where’s it gotten us? Owl City? Gee. But the white label that won Bedingfield fame on the UK garage circuit was more propulsive than anything Ben Gibbard fans (even Junior Boys fans) would later have in mind.

Accentuating Justin’s jitters into full-blown breathlessness, and refusing to complain about how many groupies want to suck his dick like poor beset Usher, Bedingfield is a frisky electro-munchkin on the mic. His smartly layered production, nudged forward from its hesitant synth open by hectic drums, gathers tension as it proceeds. But the composition itself is strong enough for the acoustic version to hold up as well.

Bedingfield’s follow-up was that rarity of pop, the listenable ballad, “If You’re Not the One.” (“Why does your heart return my calls?”) He wants to build his home with you, and “hopes” to love you all his life with a wise lack of bombast. Even Simon Cowell has called it “one of the best pop songs of all time” (though I’m sure he owns a piece of someone he thinks could improve it.)

No idea how Bedingfield has aged in the UK, where he lambasted them with five top tens and a successful follow-up LP that wasn’t even released here in the U.S., where’s he’s barely remembered as two-hit wonder. In a simpler age, he’d have been as big over here as–well, not George Michael, but maybe Paul Young? Instead, his dull sister Natasha went on to greater fame. Maybe Bedingfield was too white, too self-produced, too untutored in the ways of the Neptunes or Lil Jon, maybe even too “rock.” Or maybe jilted pop fans want to wallow in heartbreak, or lash out in jealousy. Bedingfield just wants to get through this.

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