Friday, March 17, 2006

James Blunt - Back to Bedlam

I just picked up this album a few days ago, and overall, I'm pleased. He's good with words, and the music is pleasant, well-produced, and catchy. The second half of the album flags a little, and the closing track "No Bravery" is an awkward anti-war hymn, but when he sticks the the classic singer-songwriter far of love and loss, James is quite good. The single "You're Beautiful" which is getting some radio play now is a touching story of love at first sight, which, like most such stories, cannot be real. The speaker in the song realizes this, which gives the song a more real and less saccharine tone than other such works.
"Goodbye My Lover" is probably the most revealing song on the album. The title says a lot of what the song does, but James' high tenor and solo piano bring a lot of spirit to what could have been trite.
I'm impressed with his allusions too. Blunt quotes William Blake, and references Wilde intelligently. He's not terribly innovative, but solid, and I don't regret buying this one.

4/5 stars

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