Johnny Marques (Hats+Rabbits)

On Monday, I had gotten word that Natasha Bedingfield wouldn't be able to keep our scheduled interview time.

The details were mum, but all I knew is "something had come up." As I started to pack up for the day, she called me back. She admitted with a laugh that her son wouldn't go down for his nap. "Sometimes he's not...completely on schedule," she said.

The international pop star, whose fierce anthemic R&B pop songs defined the early aughts, is still new at being a mother. The experience has been transformative for her, but she admits mothering in quarantine can be slightly arduous. "We're tribal; we're supposed to have all of our people around us," she said. "I don't think it's natural to be alone with a child."

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What the hell happened to Javier Colon? OK, that's an odd question, given that you presumably read the headline to this. But The Voice was over months ago, and where American Idol generally rushes a (subpar, but still) single to radio the week after the finale, Colon's biggest coup to date was guest-starring as Ray Charles on a show that's already been canceled. (And as for Vicci Martinez, Dia Frampton and Beverly McClellan, well.)

That said, the question isn't entirely odd--it's almost verbatim what was discussed in the office just the other day. (True story.) With it came other concerns: would Colon's style, laced with melisma, retro and relentlessly polite, translate to radio now, where all of that has to come with luck? This, as it turns out, is not an issue; "As Long As We Got Love" sounds nothing like Javier on The Voice. Nor does it sound like a soppy winner's ballad or single-by-claque. In fact, it sounds pretty good.

Listen on Idolator.

Here's where we should reiterate: "As Long As We Got Love" sounds nothing like Javier on The Voice, unless somewhere within the data pools of unused footage contains a scene where he expressed his secret, guilty-pleasure trips to YouTube to stream the All-American Rejects. Somehow, Javier Colon's single sounds eerily like "Gives You Hell," from the jaunty intro to the guitar stabs both on and, here, before the (much louder) chorus. Given that Colon's standout moment on The Voice was on a Sarah McLachlan ballad, it's jarring, to say the least.

The similarities, though substantial, end there. Where the Rejects' vocals were bratty, Colon's are breezy; where the chorus of one goes "when you see my face, hope it gives you hell," this one goes "we don't need nothing, as long as we got love." In other words, the biggest reason you might dislike the former (if you agree with us) is gone; only the pleasant and propulsive elements remain. That's before you get to Bedingfield's verse, sunny as usual. The style obviously suits TashBed, but it's surprising how well Colon's voice, high register intact, both translates to this Kris Allen mode and harmonizes with hers.

"As Long As We Got Love"'s on iTunes to little fanfare, certainly less than you'd expect from a major singshow winner. It perhaps deserves a bit more; certainly, it's good enough to replace any given Hot Chelle Rae song on the tracks (granted, the sole criterion for that is not being totally deplorable, but still.) And coach/former mentor Adam Levine already helped "Moves Like Jagger" be a comeback both for his band and for co-coach Christina Aguilera. Who says Colon shouldn't have at least half as good results?

POPDUST SAYS:

Add Natasha Bedingfield to the growing list of totally-not-country people jumping on the Nashville bandwagon. "I am so amazed at how country musicians value real music," says the starstruck Bedingfield of Rascal Flatts. "It has been awesome to work with them." The fruits of their collaboration: "Easy," not a cover of the Commodores classic, but a rumination on how easy it is to act like you're doing fine after you break up with the one you love. (Hint: Not very.) In the song's new video, Bedingfield and Flatts singer Gary LeVox meet at some sort of gala, sing desperately at one another, and then part when the clock strikes 12:00 and Bedingfield has to leave before she turns into a pumpkin or something. (Seriously, she even leaves a glass slipper behind. We don't get it either.)

Check it out below, and cower in fear at the though of Natasha's brother Daniel being the next to show up unannounced and uninvited at country music's doorstep:

[TheBoot]

Movies like Love Actually have conditioned us to expect grand, romantic gestures whenever someone steps foot into a cold, sterile airport, which is why some may have issues with "Jet Lag," the new video from Simple Plan featuring Natasha Bedingfield. Where is the huge declaration of love? The last-second arrival just before take off? While the Canadian band's setup in the departures terminal is definitely a vast improvement from the stale pop you usually find while waiting for a flight, frontman Pierre does nothing but stare longingly out the window while going through the motions of airport security, as his (presumed) lady love Natasha Bedingfield stares—even more longingly—from her bedroom (ah, the glamorous life of a pop star and his ball and chain). Later, she gets so torn up from missing him, she multiplies! Check it out below.

It's the first we've seen of the group since their self-titled debut in 2008, and they've announced their return (Get Your Heart On! is out June 21) with a sad look at life on the road, albeit with the assistance of a pretty female artist who arguably has more appeal these days. Consider us saps, but we were waiting for one of them to run through the door (any door) at the last minute. But maybe we've just watched one too many movies.