Natalie Walker’s second solo release, With You, continues in the Electronica/Pop realm trying to capitalize on early success of her last albums single “Quicksand” which Sofia Coppola used in a trailer for Marie Antoinette.
“Now or Never” makes for an interesting headphone listen as percussion, electric guitars, background oohs and ahhs along with key flourishes stroll in at their leisure. Walker also is decisive in her lyrics on this particular track, jumping in and getting the ball rolling. Natalie seems to have grown up a bit compared to her peers in the pop/electronica song writing world, but still manages to fall into clichéd phrases a bit too often (“Too Late”, “With You”). Surprisingly, “Empty Road” may be the best song and it is the most straight ahead singer/songwriter on the album; a song in which she abandoned the skittering beats and twitters and instead leaned on violins and well crafted vocals to soar while lamenting loss, a good all around journey. “Hypnotize” also works, as Walker gets her sultry on over a piano, sax and string runs.
Solid production from Stuhr abounds. Violin string picking and fluttery beats match with Walker’s ethereal voice perfectly, even if the end result is not intensely memorable. Fans of Imogen Heap, Beth Orton and Postal Service will gravitate to Walker’s laid back, electronica vibe. With You never becomes an intense booty-shaker – instead it goes for comfort, like a well loved blanket on a rainy Tuesday morning.