Album Review: Natalia – Overdrive

If you like a strong female voice, you’ll like Natalia’s Overdrive. The first runner-up of the Flemish version of our American Idol in 2003 caught the eyes of Sony Music Belgium and released her fifth studio album in 2013. This album is packed with English dance and pop hits that show appeal across the sea, although she’s still relatively unknown in the states.

There are many different types of songs on this album proving Natalia’s ability to master multiple sub-genres.  The album starts off with her hit single “Overdrive,” which shows off her lower range with a hint of grunge. The heavy use of electric guitar and backup vocal reminds me of an 80’s girl-rock band. It’s a party song that emphasizes her feeling in control. “A Girl Like Me” is more pop, and reminiscent of Taylor Swift, with lyrics persuading a guy to fall in love with her for her natural, casual qualities and not for the glamorous things.  “Alive” has a very soulful, R&B style and has a cool rock undertone with heavy electric guitar during the chorus. It’s lyrics are very emotional, about the death of a loved one, with her reaching up to her higher range while singing “I promise to keep your memory alive.”  “BFF”is a sad ballad, and right when you think it’s going to stay mellow, the bass and kick drum enters and the writing gets heavy.

Natalia’s voice is rich and adaptable to any genre. Music crosses international borders and she’s a great artist to explore now and for the future. Rock on, Belgium.

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