(2005) Back To Bedlam

James Blunt

... read moreSoulful British crooner James Blunt's wistful debut infuses the listener -- in order -- with rainy-day hope, the wistful comfort of unattainable love, and finally, world-weary resignation. While his parched and effeminate falsetto recalls Gasoline Alley-era Rod Stewart with a healthy dose of Antony...

Explicit

41′:44″ 11 Songs

1
High
James Blunt
4:05
2
You're Beautiful
James Blunt
3:32
3
Wisemen
James Blunt
3:42
4
Goodbye My Lover
James Blunt
4:18
5
Tears And Rain
James Blunt
4:04
6
Out Of My Mind
James Blunt
3:32
7
So Long, Jimmy
James Blunt
4:24
8
Billy
James Blunt
3:37
9
Cry
James Blunt
4:06
10
No Bravery
James Blunt
4:01
11
Fall At Your Feet (Acoustic)
James Blunt
2:23
Released 04 October 2005, 2005 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

Review

Soulful British crooner James Blunt's wistful debut infuses the listener -- in order -- with rainy-day hope, the wistful comfort of unattainable love, and finally, world-weary resignation. While his parched and effeminate falsetto recalls Gasoline Alley-era Rod Stewart with a healthy dose of Antony and the Johnsons, it's the late Elliott Smith who casts the largest shadow on Back to Bedlam. Predictable but effective four-chord guitar motifs are the chosen vehicle for the ex-Royal Armed Forces soldier, and when they connect ("Wiseman," "Goodbye My Lover," "You Are Beautiful"), it's like a "Dear John" letter from a lover who you know will remain a close but ultimately guarded friend. Opening track "High" sets a determined midtempo pace that rarely wanes -- it's like an acoustic version of "Drive" by the Cars with a Coldplay chorus. It's a pace that would sink some records, but Bedlam's perfectly rendered, under 40-minute run time ensures that the listener doesn't suffer from a melancholy overdose. Blunt recounts his harrowing experiences as part of the NATO peacekeeping force in Kosovo on the closer, "No Bravery," and it's a shock to hear all of the romantic lyricism that informed Bedlam up to this point reduced to "Old men kneel and accept their fate/Wives and daughters cut and raped/A generation drenched in hate," but it's damn effective -- as is the majority of this fine debut. ~ James Christopher Monger