“Bombastic” seems to be the adjective of choice for journalists attempting to describe American singer Anastacia. The pop star’s 2000 debut failed to strike a nerve in the States but it made her a multi-platinum household name overseas. With her sophomore effort, Freak of Nature, already a hit in Europe and the soulful disco track “One Day in Your Life” climbing the club charts in the U.S., Anastacia’s cross-continental stardom seems virtually assured this time around. Her husky voice is reminiscent of Taylor Dayne, but her tenacious attitude on songs like “Paid My Dues” and the funky title track carve a unique niche for the singer. With the exception of the syrupy “You’ll Never Be Alone” and “I Dreamed of You,” Freak of Nature steers clear of the power ballads that weighed down her debut. Though the album’s highlight is the summery, midtempo “Overdue Goodbye” (its acoustic guitar riffs, warm harmonies and tropical beats are irresistible), Anastacia should keep the sloppy slow numbers to a minimum and, like a good bombastic diva-in-training, keep her eye on the dancefloor.