Album: James Blunt, Some Kind of Trouble (Rocket)
How to put this, well, Bluntly?
Sunday 07 November 2010
Much is made, by his swooning fans, of James Blunt's "charm", but to the unsmitten – ie most of us – everything he does is devoid thereof.
On his third album, featuring the dread hand of Linda Perry, Blunt once again shows all the soulfulness of the junior Chris de Burgh he so blatantly is. Cliché follows cliché and banality follows banality: he's got a heart of gold, he'll always be by your side, and so on, like a Hallmark Cards random verse generator.
If only there was something funny to say about Blunt. Like, I dunno, a play on the rhyming possibilities of his surname. Sadly my mind's gone blank in the face of the musical horrors, so let's play this straight: Some Kind of Trouble stinks and from now on, we need only concern ourselves with precisely how it stinks.
Let me count the ways. Well, first of all, he still sounds like Bill Oddie, which is all very well if you're singing about a funky gibbon, but pretty unpleasant when it's a heartfelt ballad. That much is clear on the first track, and lead single, "Stay the Night", on which Bob Marley bafflingly gets a co-writer's credit.
Listening to Some Kind of Trouble's 12 tracks in sequence is as sickly as being force-fed a Hovis-sized loaf of pure marzipan. When he tries to do "seductive" ("I'll Be Your Man") it's embarrassing. And when he tries to do "moody" ("Turn Me On") it's hilarious.
The most terrifying stat about Blunt is that his debut, Back to Bedlam, was the biggest-selling album in Britain in the Noughties, making him rich enough to buy his own studio in LA, giving him unlimited wherewithal to unleash further audio-atrocities upon a long-suffering world. The best we can hope for is that this time he earns enough to buy an entire Pacific Island, and never bothers us again.
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