Monday, September 24, 2007

The half-digested review: James Blunt - All the lost souls

I think I can safely say that I have a love hate relationship with James Blunt's music. I remember the first time I heard "You're Beautiful", it struck me as a very very normal song with a weird video clip and a male singer with a voice that unfortunately turned me off. The radio blasted that song for weeks and weeks on ends and somehow I liked it for a little while. Then his other singles got released and the radio dutifully blasted those for weeks on ends. That was when I stopped listening to radio. No it's not James Blunt's overexposed "talent" that stopped me from listening to the radio. It's what stopped me watching TV, ads. Blasted, freaking ads.

Anyhow, I digressed, I resisted listening to his debut album until the end of last year. "Resisted" is a bit overstated, more like assumed that his whole album would be just like his singles (which all sounded the same to me). When I finally listened to "Back to Bedlam" in its entirety, I was pleasantly surprised. The songs worked together in the whole album. I liked it last summer. I liked it until I overplayed that CD and I couldn't stand the voice of James Blunt. He's got the type of voice that makes you cringe at first then you get used to it and after a while it gives you indigestion.

When I heard that JB was gonna have a new album out 2 months ago I thought that I'd ignore it. But then all the mp3 blogs that I subscribe to went on a JB frenzy and posted links to his leaked album like crazy. So I downloaded one, it turned out to be a whole album of sample songs, i.e. all the songs are the length that they're supposed to be but they contain only the first few sentences of the songs played in a loop. Let me tell you, the first time I heard JB's voice after a 9 month JB mental break was quite overwhelming. I thought that I got the usual leaked stuff so I put it on half expecting that it was someone else's music (that's happened before), what I got was "Simona, you're getting older, your journey's been etched on your skin" repeated over and over and over again. At first I thought I was going crazy, then I thought that my computer's gone crazy. It turned out that every single song that I'd just downloaded was like that. I must say James Blunt's voice is quite vomit-inducing when it's being looped like that.

I finally got over the fear of downloading the damn sample version of his new album last week (I downloaded it 3 times before declaring that he's not worth my effort to find his album) and got a working version to see if it's any good. I've been listening for a whole week now, on and off, and I haven't had indigestion or nausea. Yet. (I'm close though).

It's not a bad album, it's just more of the same stuff JB has already put out on his last record, added a "shipload of drugs" and a shitload of personal problems. Nothing much stands out after a few time listening to this CD. What does it sound like? Well, it sounded like "Back To Bedlam, Again". I even think that's a better title than "All the lost souls". What's with this guy and lost souls and prophets and wisemen? Granted it's not morbid but it's just depressing. Would he be any better had he made the album on shitload of drugs rather than shipload of drugs? Nobody knows.

If you're one of those people that haven't had enough and still can't get enough of James Blunt after 2 or 3 years of "you're beautiful, you're beautiful, you're beautiful, it's true" then here's more of James Blunt for you. And I am glad that I have 2 ipods full of music to listen to rather than the radio.

So there you have it, I don't like this album. The songs aren't bad but they aren't good either. The title is depressing and what's is with the album art? I guess inventive person figured what's the point in putting only one picture of the artist on the front cover when you can put a thousand little pictures of him there. Don't like the cover either.

If I have to give a rating, it would be 2 out of 5. Not a good CD, don't buy it now, wait until it gets down to 10 bucks. Something worth buying: Ben Lee's new album "Ripe". It's a hundred time better than James Blunt's. And it has only one picture of Ben on the cover. That beats the thousand-picture "art" hands down.

And if you don't trust my not very objective review of this album, you can always check it out. It's floating on the net somewhere. I don't know where you can find it, don't ask me. All I can tell you is that it's not here or even here.

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