Release Date: Jan 18, 2011
Record label: Atlantic
Genre(s): Singer/Songwriter, Adult Contemporary, Pop/Rock
Dispensing with the brooding insularity of 2007’s sophomore affair All the Lost Souls, James Blunt opts for optimism on his third album, 2010’s Some Kind of Trouble. The shift in tenor is immediately apparent on the jaunty acoustic opener “Stay the Night” and the slick, sleek pulse of “Dangerous,” a song tailor-made for upscale cocktail hours, and if Blunt occasionally slows the tempo, he never strays from this aesthetic, never letting his ballads drift into the morose. In a sense, this lightness suggests that Blunt has succumbed to his role as a MOR crooner, as there are no attempts at David Grey profundity as there were on All the Lost Souls, but ultimately, this is for the best because Blunt’s strength is his embrace of soft rock cliché, whether he’s murmuring about a “Heart of Gold” over crawling chords, or cheerfully bouncing along on “I’ll Be Your Man.
“I’m sorry,” James Blunt seems to say, pleading with the millions who’ve turned their backs. “I didn’t know. I thought you wanted more. I thought you wanted me to grow, to mature, to be inspired by something other than my poor track record at relationships. “I thought you wanted art ….
Since selling 12m copies of his debut album, Back to Bedlam – thanks largely to the ubiquitous wedding reception favourite, You're Beautiful – James Blunt has struggled to overcome collective public embarrassment in regards to his success. Readers of the Sun voted You're Beautiful the most irritating song of all time, while the last single from his under-performing second album missed the UK top 100. Blunt has prefaced this third album by saying he wanted to move away from "writing sad songs about poor old me", and while the first single Stay the Night is a jaunty strumalong about meeting a new lady friend, the rest defaults to focus-group melancholia.
The melodies haven’t gone AWOL, but this isn’t an advance from Captain Blunt. Matthew Horton 2010 When James Blunt released his second album, All the Lost Souls, in 2007, critical attention focused on lead single 1973 and, in particular, the line "As time goes by I will always be in a club with you in 1973, singing Here We Go Again". "But he wasn’t alive in 1973," they said.
The world of adult contemporary rock can often feel like the aural equivalent of nondairy creamer — presweetened and emulsified for easy digestion, if not good taste. Still, a taste it is, and even as James Blunt and the Script induce cornea-straining eye rolls in some, they also bring lite-FM pleasure to millions. Those millions may be hard sold, though, on Blunt’s third and latest album.