James Blunt
All the Lost Souls

very poor


by FlawedPerfection EMERITUS
September 17th, 2007 | 35 replies

Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: James Blunt makes the same mistakes and by the end, I just can't hear the music.

One of the most naturally talented musicians I ever knew played trombone and sang tenor in the choir. On both instruments, he played with the schmaltz-iest vibrato I’ve ever heard in my life. Regardless, he mastered his craft of cheesy tone and managed to sight-read his way to all-state choir, band, and orchestra, first chair, three years running. In jazz band, he performed “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most”, a ballad with a trombone feature. It began in a style perfect for him, and he nailed it every time. Following that, it suddenly switched to double time swing and he had to improvise. Suddenly, he fell apart. He could play anything written for him, but when it was his turn to create, he either could not grasp it or just did not care. As indicated by his dropping out of college and successively delving into alcoholism and drugs, I vote for the latter.

This guy seriously and legitimately liked James Blunt, and why wouldn’t he" Blunt capitalized on pop culture with the simplest lyrics imaginable: “You’re beautiful/you’re beautiful/you’re beautiful/it’s true.” People simply fell in love with his “unique” voice, that tenor vibrato with unexplainable diction and the seeming easiness of his melodies. The women (and probably some men) swooned over his looks and seemingly innocent introspective qualities. For Blunt, writing the lyrics to his mega-hit “You’re Beautiful” could not have taken much work. While that song took America and the world by storm, making Blunt the first British artist since Elton John (for “Candle in the Wind”) to top the US charts. Afterwards, his success instead parallels David Hassellhoff’s musical career. He continues to top the charts in Europe but hardly scrapes America’s. Not to imply that America has superior musical taste than the rest of the world, but this gives me pride in my nation for just a fleeting moment.

All the Lost Souls finds a thousand pictures of James Blunt to make one, called by one reporter “the best album cover in years,” a terribly inaccurate calculation, but it is better than Back to Bedlam's. Unfortunately, the album itself fails to raise the bar in the same manner. It begins with “1973”, adding to the ever-increasing collection of bad songs titled with years, joining the ranks of Bowling for Soup’s “1985” and Bryan Adam’s “Summer of ’69.” While the verse survives solely on a fun yet repetitive bass groove, its chorus almost gets quieter rather than louder, and proves a pathetically anti-climatic chorus. The opening piano chord progression feels disjointed from the feel of the rest of the song, as it cries for a more fitting introduction. “One of the Brightest Stars” begins in the same manner, but the piano remains prevalent throughout the rest of the song. Here, the ending of the song feels awkward. It simply ends without rhyme or reason. Throughout the album, Blunt creates pop music without hooks, a fatal contradiction. “Give Me Some Love” at least attempts to create something catchy at the end of the song, but it comes off as a bad karaoke impression of “Hey Jude.”

The lyrical topics on All the Lost Souls find James Blunt showing his true self. From lines like “Why don’t you give me some love/I’ve taken ***loads of drugs” and “So I set out to cut myself,” Blunt proves that his altered last name has more meaning than once thought. In “Annie”, he really stretches by mentioning the magazine NME in his lyrics. As he describes a girl he knew that wanted to become a celebrity and failed, he gives her some sort of “hope” with the line “Did it all come tumbling down, down/Will you go down on me"” Despite these few anomalies, the rest of the lyrics are easily predictable: cheesy love songs. “I Really Want You” is just as bad as it sounds, the main theme being “I really want you to really want me/But I really don’t know if you can do that.” Didn’t Cheap Trick already do this" To provide some variety, Blunt often relies on “wisemen” and “prophets” and other vaguely religious terms. By this point, it has gotten old. New tricks please.

Overall, All the Lost Souls is the album everyone saw coming. There are no surprises (other than the lyrics about cutting himself) and nothing all that redeeming to take away from the listen. Blunt’s voice wears thin quickly, as if the constant airplay of “You’re Beautiful” hadn’t done that already. Musically, everything washes over apathetically and takes a step down, if possible, from Back to Bedlam. Maybe he should make an album while he’s on ***loads of drugs.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Staff Reviewer
September 17th 2007


Great review. Nice tie-in with the first paragraph to the second. I can't say I'm surprised at all.

Blunt proves that his altered last name has more meaning than once thought.

thisThis Message Edited On 09.17.07

September 17th 2007


This guy really is this bad. The only song I've heard off this one is that 1973 single and I'm already completely sick of it.

September 17th 2007


Eww, this comes out on my birthday.

Luckily BtBaM balances the equation.

The Jungler
September 17th 2007


Sounds truly horrible. The lyrics cited for "Annie" were hilarious.
Great review.

September 17th 2007


Ya this is one of your better reviews as of late

September 17th 2007


This reviewer just insulted James Blunt.
I think I'm in love.

September 17th 2007


Nobody has ever done that before

September 17th 2007


Maybe I will think twice now about spending money on this for my girlfriend.

September 17th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

Oh boy.

I actually like this record.

I'm in a LOT of trouble, aren't I?

September 17th 2007


Summer of '69 was a good song, I thought.

Anyways, did James Blunt do a song called "Good-bye, My Lover" or something to that effect? Because I heard a song that I hated, and the description of his music and voice makes me think it might have been him. That is all.

September 17th 2007


Right on. Is it you or Chan that has the divine hatred for Blunt?

Oh yeah, this was a very good review.

September 18th 2007


Those lyrics... Though I actually didn't really mind "You're Beautiful."

September 18th 2007


ouch, great review bad album

September 18th 2007


Summer of '69 was a good song, I thought.

That was I thinking too.

Other than that, good review. I think it matches up with the album allthough I haven't heard anything from him(yes I know shortminded, but after the last album I also carry devine hatred for his music).

September 18th 2007


nice review.

haven't really heard his new single but then i guess i wouldnt want to.

his voice is genuinely irritating. i'm not just jumping on the bandwagon, i actually bought my mom the first album for her bday and i've got a feeling this is very similar.

September 18th 2007


Album Rating: 1.5

I know Summer of '69 isn't as bad as 1985, but it was either that or Prince's 1999, and I just couldn't bring myself to say the other.

September 20th 2007


Album Rating: 2.0

No matter how bad an artist james blunt is (and that voice is just.. so unlistenable! Not to mention the yes the lyrics are incomparitavly vague.), i'm glad you avoided the usual cheap shots directed at him. I think any other review sorely tempted for some shameless bashing should take stock that there's a reason the public laps up songs like 1973, not necissarially because it's good but because it has listenable aspects. Likable melodies, not great, but easy on the ear. Sure it's capital fm fodder but then again it sells.

Con-artists like James Blunt do deserve bashing but readers need to know why his music on the whole is sub-par and i reackon you did a good job in explaining why his songs sucked. Good job!

This Message Edited On 09.20.07

September 20th 2007


i love summer of 69. its such a great song to play/listen to in the pub

September 20th 2007


First paragraph was awesome.

September 20th 2007


I can't believe you reviewed this (seeing how your more into metal). I hear that beautiful song at work at least 3 times a day and I want to shoot myself. Well written review, can't say I will ever give him the time of day.
Bryan Adams Summer of 69 in an awful song.This Message Edited On 09.20.07

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