James Blunt
All the Lost Souls


3.5
great

Review

by David James Young USER (181 Reviews)
October 6th, 2007 | 10 replies | 6,552 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Letting any possible retribution I may have ever slightly had go, I move to review (and later enjoy) the UK popstar's sophomore album...

2 of 3 thought this review was well written

You hate James Blunt. Admit it. You don’t particularly know why, but you just can’t stand him. And with the dull inconsistency of 2004’s Back To Bedlam and its subsequent mega-hits “You’re Beautiful” and “Goodbye My Lover”, who could blame you? And how could you be blamed for being skeptical of Blunt’s sophomore record, All The Lost Souls? No-one, that’s who- unless your mum or girlfriend were one of the 12 million people who bought his first album. How surprising it may be, then, to hear the fact that James Blunt has made an album at least 110% better than his previous album. This is not to say it’s all groundbreaking and brilliant; but nevertheless, he has indeed created quite a solid album.

The record begins, a little unsurprisingly, with the lead single “1973”. Thankfully, however, it is a refreshing and catchy number with Blunt working a new–found funk that should definitely be expanded on in future releases. The song deals with Blunt’s Iberian club scene experiences and the women he met through these experiences- “What seemed so strong has been and gone”, he muses of one of them. There’s a definite confidence, groove and freshness to this tune; and what’s better is that it’s already better than all the singles from Bedlam put together.

It is the first indication of improvement, and the list simply grows from here.
Blunt is far more confident, puts far less nuance in his voice and sounds a lot more comfortable with what he is doing. This may be in part due to the album being recorded with his touring band of the past two years. The backing band brings a new dimension to the songs, and takes out a lot of the soullessness that was almost omnipresent on Bedlam. Even the lyrics have improved in parts- “Carry You Home”, as a prime example of this, paints the picture of a young American woman’s demise and untimely death. “As strong as you were/Tender you go/I’m watching you breathing for the last time”, crooned over a bright acoustic chord progression. This track stands as a true highlight.

Elsewhere, another outstanding track comes with “One of the Brightest Stars”, which sounds like a mix of “Reveal”-era R.E.M, Bee Gees harmonies and Don Henley song writing. The song, production-wise, is very stripped back and becomes one of the best songs on the album as a result.
Then there’s “Give Me Some Love”. Chances are you’ve heard about this song already, and a particularly eyebrow-raising couplet: “Why don’t you give me some love?/ I’ve taken a sh-tload of drugs”. Everyone who’s heard this one has their two cents on what this song is about, and another two won’t hurt- this song, in my view, is about Blunt doing music simply the way he wants to; and even after millions of album sales, he is still widely looked down on by music fans worldwide. This is him venting frustration and seeing if something like valium will take away the problems. Of course, it doesn’t…but it certainly makes for an entertaining track, featuring some quirky use of a toy piano and a fabulous “Hey Jude” styled sing-along outro.

Blunt has tried a lot of new things on this record, and the experiment has certainly paid off. This isn’t a classic- this may even struggle to get into my top 20 albums of 07 with the way things are going; and the record is still inconsistent as a result of bad track-listing choices- but this is a thousand times better than his first album. “All The Lost Souls” gives me hope that greater things are ahead of this musician- no matter how much he gets panned by critics.



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user ratings (70)
Chart.
2.6
average
other reviews of this album
Tyler Fisher EMERITUS (1.5)
James Blunt makes the same mistakes and by the end, I just can't hear the music....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Sepstrup
October 6th 2007



1563 Comments


Good review. The new single is much better than the Goodbye My Lover and You're Beautiful, both of which were horrendous songs, but I doubt I'd like this album very much.

tribestros
October 6th 2007



918 Comments


I hate James Blunt, as well as his tendency to throw around the word fuck in his pop songs.

What a poser.

Abaddon2005
October 6th 2007



684 Comments


You hate James Blunt. Admit it. You don’t particularly know why, but you just can’t stand him.


Most people have pretty clear reasons actually.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
October 6th 2007



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Good review and everything, I just think that everything you said is good is actually terrible.

"fabulous “Hey Jude” styled sing-along outro." That part is so bad.

AtavanHalen
October 7th 2007



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

We can all at least agree this album's a lot better than his last one, whether you're a fan or not.

Maneater
October 18th 2007



24 Comments


I actually didn't mind ''1973'' much. Then again nothing comes close to the atrocity that is ''Goodbye My Lover''.

kattunlover69
June 13th 2008



1194 Comments


i must admit..that everytime 1973 comes on at work....i have to sing it....



SHOOTME
June 13th 2008



2393 Comments


His voice is so awkward and terrible.

lateoctober
June 13th 2008



171 Comments


This rating and review is spot on for James Blunt's target audience: middle age women. I'm not a fan but I have heard the album and it's respectful for such an audience. Basically it is a solid pop record which is a bit of a guilty pleasure. Now because for the most part Sputnik users are not middle age women, this album will always be despised. This I dub the "Sputnik effect". The only time the site can not be trusted with its average user rating and staff reviews.

This is a very well written review and I commend you for such empathy. I would poss it to high heavens if I could.

BaturTogay
June 24th 2011



164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It is a great album surely... We may hate James Blunt, but I do appreciate him..



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