Tuesday, September 25, 2007

James Blunt - All The Lost Souls.

The return of the man who went from being Mr Popular to Mr Annoying in the blink of an eye. Suddenly donned with the moniker of 'Housewives Favourite', shortly after every radio station in the Country over-played "You're Beautiful", Blunty went on no holds barred media rampage, allegedly bedding many a model along the way.

Back To Bedlam was indeed a good album. Unfortunately it became tarnished with singles that radio stations wouldn't give up and songs that became labelled with 'most annoying song of the year' for "You're Beautiful" or 'most popular funeral song' for "Goodbye My Lover".

The new album doesn't really offer anything new. There's no new direction, no experimental formula, no surprises. I guess there's been a certain amount of "If it ain't broken, why fix it" thought here, which is a shame really. I would have liked to hear him go in new direction, or at the very least mature and strengthen his sound, but in essence, what we have here is more of the same. Back To Bedlam part 2, as it were.

That said, it's not a disappointing listen. Indeed, in my opinion, it's every bit as good as the previous album and that in itself is probably good enough. Ok, so maybe it wont be winning him many more fans, but I wouldn't expect it to be losing him any either.

Lyrically, it's a little hit and miss. Without trying to state the obvious, this album contains songs about how he's dealt with his fame, his increased circles of friends, the media's perception of him, his drug taking and how he's seen the world through his eyes since he became a household name. Throw in some songs about lost loves, failed relationships, war and killing and that could pretty much sum the album up.

The mixing of this album feels different though. I wonder if they've played about with his voice a little because it doesn't seem as defined as with the previous album. His voice is quite recognizable, so by doing this, I feel like his passion gets lost within the tracks somewhat. When he sings about love lost, his passion seems to be missing. When he sings about killing and death, there doesn't appear to be much sincerity in his voice and I wonder if changing the mix was such a good move. Although saying that, his choice of lyrics are a little cringe-worthy in places, so that can't help.

As a summary, I'd like to say it's brilliant, but it's not. I'd like to say it's great, but I feel like I'm giving it more than it's worth. Maybe with a few more listens, it will grow on me more and become a 'great' album. As it stands now, it's very much a good effort and let's be honest here, many artists struggle with the 'difficult second album', so he should be happy with this.
And thank goodness there isn't another "You're Beautiful" on here, which let's face it, can only be a good thing.

Have a listen a make up your own mind:

I'll Take Everything
I Really Want You
Give Me Some Love
Same Mistake
Shine On

Currently filed in my 'give it some more listens' folder.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

It's Britney bitch.

Oh and be quick 'cos these videos seem to be disappearing off the net very quickly.