Today I’m covering the artist I really wanted to make this feature for, the underrated, James Blunt. Just to start off, many people discarded him after “You’re Beautiful” because it was overplayed and pretty sappy but Blunt has made some of the best singer/songwriter music of the early 2000s, it’s still a little middle ground but as far as singer/songwriter material from that time goes this stuff is probably one of the few that stands up.
His debut album Back To Bedlam is an amazing album that many skipped due to their understandable tiredness of “You’re Beautiful” but as many would discover, it was probably the worst cut from the album. Opening on the amazingly detailed “High” the album starts on a bright note that seems played out at first until it bursts into its charged chorus. After the overplayed “You’re Beautiful” the album goes into the honest “Wisemen” with a bitey vocal line and a chorus that floats into at least three different sections, all so catchy that I completely understood why I heard an entire bar singing it when I visited the UK. “Goodbye My Lover” is simply one of the saddest songs I’ve ever heard, it has real sadness to it not only in the instrumentation but Blunt’s almost crying vocals.
“Tears And Rain” runs through a brilliant and arpeggiated verse and falls into another amazing catchy chorus, something Blunt just doesn’t get wrong on this album no matter how slow the verse. “Out Of My Mind” takes a dark, organ-drenched verse and puts it into overdrive when it roars into its chanting chorus, the vocable chanting near the end of the song will echo in your head and has a magical quality live. “So Long Jimmy” has a great riff that runs most of the song, and its chorus raises it to a whole other level, it even ends on an amazing organ solo.
“Billy” runs a somewhat played out verse to what is probably one of the best choruses on the whole album, even lyrically sounding amazing, but the ace in the whole is the bridge line of “Once he was a lover, sleeping with another” that makes the song that much better. “Cry” has a sweet quality to it, speaking of true friendship and being there when someone needs it. Lastly is the incredibly dark “No Bravery” inspired by Blunt’s time as a soldier (see picture above) in Kosovo were he led troops through war times, a good piece of trivia for the many that think he’s meek due to his voice. The song has a real dark and sad nature to it, based off the horrors he saw and speaks of the true nature of war