Universal - 2004 - 46 minutes

Clearly riled by his sister stepping up a gear and overtaking him in the chart success stakes (just listen to 'Sorry' if you need proof), Daniel Bedingfield has produced a real contender to go the distance here. It's bitter and downright angry in places, completely mellow in others, but the style suits him.

It may take a couple of listens to sound out that this is one to savour but once you turn the corner, these tunes will really get in on you. Bedingfield has come a long way since, as an unknown, he conquered the UK and Irish charts and turned quite a few heads. What we see here is not a continuation of where he left off. A lot has happened in the life of Daniel Bedingfield since his first album was released and the content of 'Second First Impression' seems to reflect that. It's deep, seemingly quite personal, bitter, yet impressively so.

There's an overwhelming use of percussion and aggressive beats that make for a great sound throughout this album, invigorating the up-tempo tracks further. Then there's a turnaround, a slump into slightly pathetic territory that seems to suit the artist, in tracks like 'Sorry' - a very frank take on the singer's relationship with his sister. 'All The Little Children' is another very embittered track, with beauty in its sheer depth and impact in its brevity.

Among the gems on this album are 'Wrap My Words Around You', 'Don't Give'r It All', 'A Kiss Without Commitment' and 'Growing Up', but you'll rarely be compelled to hover your finger over the skip button of your CD player. It flows nicely, with very different content blending quite seamlessly. Vocally this album is right on the mark. Bedingfield's unique voice perfectly captures a range of emotions in its many variations.

As second first impressions go…. It's good one.

Linda McGee

Tracklisting: Growing Up - Complicated - Wrap My Words Around You - All Your Attention - The Way - Sorry - Show Me The Real You - Don't Give'r It All - Nothing Hurts Like Love - Holiness - All The Little Children - Draw You - A Kiss Without Commitment.