May 30, 2010

James Blunt

I think almost everybody is familiar with James Blunt's big hit - "You're Beautiful" (if not, check it out on youtube, the live performance at the BBC is the favourite version of mine). I even have friends telling me that they were so fed up with the track because of its high airplay. Can't blame Mr. Blunt, its catchy tune and simple but effective lyrics made the song an instant hit.

Though I liked that song, I never bought any one of Blunt's 2 albums, until I read the post in the 'Life is a Journey' blog (link at the right hand panel), where Sting - not the English in New York called it the 'Best Love Song of the Decade'.

That post, from a few months back, reminded me of the song again. While browsing for CDs in a music store, I saw James Blunt's second album, "All the Lost Souls", so I bought it. Spinning it in my system and in my car, I found that I could like his music pretty much. So I turned around and got his debut album, "Back to Bedlam", from eBay.

I am definitely behind the curve on this, as both albums came out quite a few years back. Better later than never, I suppose.

I don't quite know which genre James Blunt belongs to, somewhere between pop and rock, I suppose. I found his albums edgier than the norm for pop, and they did not have the saccharine sweetness that much of pop had. That was what appealed to me. The f-word in the middle of "You're Beautiful", a love-at-first-sight love song, was ingenious. These albums stood up to repeated listening, the music quality was high throughout such that I could listen to them from beginning till end. I have been spinning them for the last few months.

The recording quality was pretty good on "Back to Bedlam", the sound has clarity and good body, vocal was natural with little annoying sibilance (though by no means is it an 'audiophile' recording). "All the Lost Souls", on the other hand, was just ok, its sound was just a little flat and fuzzy. Did this have anything to do with where they were pressed, I do not know.

My top 3 favourites from each album are, in sequence:
"Back to Bedlam":
- 4. Goodbye My Lover (yes, I like this one better than "You're Beautiful")
- 2. You're Beautiful
- 1. High

"All the Lost Souls":
- 4. Same Mistake
- 8. Shine On
- 5. Carry Me Home

However, like I said, the rest of both albums were of high musical quality too.

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