Newest Review: ... the radio, This is another track where James is able to show off his range and gets the high notes time and time again. The music to this... more
Back To Bedlam - James Blunt
Back To Bedlam - James Blunt
Member Name: Karonher
Back To Bedlam - James Blunt
Advantages: Sad and amazing at the same time.
Disadvantages: Meaning of some tracks unknown - but that is not much of an issue.
*Warning* this review contains nice comments about James Blunt.
Friends have never understood my choice of music, but no one has been criticised as much as James Blunt. I can't understand why as he has an amazing voice - singing and speaking plus the tracks are easy to listen to and well written. I was surprised to find out that this was released in 2004 as I thought it was much later than that. The producers are Warner Music Group Co.
I am not a musician so can't explain about the chords and rifts and things, but give an opinion having listened to them. One thing I do like about him - apart from his amazing good looks and voice - is the fact that he does not seem to take himself seriously. Some of the tracks are a total contrast to the fun loving man that we see interviewed and this one is just as impressive.
High - written by Blunt and Ross
This is a bit of a hard song to understand, although he puts his ability to reach high notes to good use throughout the track. I don't know if it is about a place he was happy or the place he is now - it could be the same place I know. He seems to feel strongly about it and while it is not the best written song, there are some well written lines
"Beautiful dawn - You're just blowing my mind again. Thought I was born to endless night, until you shine."
It is well known that he served in the Army so it may be the dawn in a far away land - glad to see the dawn as he has made it through the night. Towards the ends of each line he elongates the word and holds the tune perfectly. It is quite a short track and far from my favourite. This is one of the more cheerful tracks on the album and I give it 7/10
You're Beautiful - written by Blunt, Skarbek, Ghost.
Maybe because this did so well I got a little bored with it. It spent a lot of time at number 1 and I feel that there were better tracks that should have had that honour. It is about a fleeting sighting of someone on the subway and how he contemplates his future knowing that she will not e part of it.
The lyrics are not too clear as we never find out what the plan is. Unless it is carry on with his life and not have her as part of it.
She smiled at me on the subway. She was with another man. But I won't lose no sleep on that, 'Cause I've got a plan.
There is a part of this song that I switch of when my nephew is in the car as he sings it a little differently to the way he does on the single. Here he claims that
"she could see from my face that I was f****** high" as opposed to "flying high" on the radio,
This is another track where James is able to show off his range and gets the high notes time and time again. The music to this is quite basic and gives him the chance to make the song the star, but as it is repeated there is not a lot of substance so I will say 5/10. It is not a song that he is precious about as he has parodied it on Sesame Street singing it as "My Triangle"
Wise Men - written by Blunt, Skarbek and Hogarth.
I found it hard to work out what this was about so had a quick look on the internet and there seems to be 2 different stories. One is that it is about James and 3 people who bullied him and on reflection he is pointing out who has the better life
"look whose alone now, it's not me it's not me"
Another theory is that it is about 3 British soldiers who raped and killed a Danish girl in Cyprus. They were sentenced and charged with manslaughter not murder as they were too drunk or high to have planned it.
"And they're really sorry now for what they've done, they were three Wise Men just trying to have some fun."
I do like this but would prefer to understand it. Considering both views are serious, it it still quite an upbeat track and is easy to sing along to. 7/10
Goodbye My Lover - written by Blunt music by Skarbek
For me this is the best track on the album and it has finally got to the James Blunt that I love listening to. It is another track that shows off his range and the music fits perfectly with the feelings put into the track.
I like the idea of the darkness at the beginning and how he is looking back at a relationship.
"So I took what's mine by eternal right. Took your soul out into the night. It may be over but it won't stop there, I am here for you if you'd only care."
There have been reports that this is about the break-up a relationship that James thought would last forever. It changes from him being the person in control
"Yes I saw you were blinded and I knew I had won."
then nearer the end
"And I love you, I swear that's true. I cannot live without you".
"You have been the one. You have been the one for me."
Whatever the real meaning, it is a powerful track to listen to. It has become popular for funerals although there is nothing to say that it is about the death of a person just the relationship. By far my favourite, and one that often gets played over and over on long car drives. 10/10
Tears and Rain - Blunt and Chambers
This is another track that is full of emotion but not easy to understand. It could be regret for events in the past and fear for what is to come. Is it about his time in the army or about relationships he has had?
"All pleasure's the same, it just keeps me from trouble. Hides my true shape, like Dorian Gray."
This could be putting a brave face on things and not giving into the pain but having pleasure in his life and being who is wants to be and not hiding anymore. As I like Oscar Wilde I also like the Dorian Gray reference. 8/10
Out of My Mind - written by Blunt
I can easily imagine this being about insecurity and fear of failing. He is in a world obsessed by looks and youth and one day he will get older and his looks will change.
"It's touching that the monkey sits on my shoulder. He's waiting for the day when he gets me"
It is quite a short track and not a particular favourite. It is sung in quite a monotone way and there are none of the ranges of voice that are found in other tracks. Another one that gets 7/10
So Long Jimmy - written by Blunt and Hogarth
I have heard a number of reports that this is about someone he served with in Afghanistan and they were killed. They always had a guitar and played for the rest of the troops. If this is true it is an amazing tribute to them. There is also the fact that both of the writers are James and it could have been about themselves.
"Though you only stayed a moment, we all know that you're the one. Singing,"
Could it be that he is unsure how long his career will last. When "You're Beautiful" became a hit there was a lot of publicity and he may have feared it would go as soon as it came.
From the other point there is the idea of it being about a former colleague. The man had a profound effect and I would like to think that it is a tribute.
"Are you just cool and I'm just baked? Does everyone get mesmerized by your fire?"
I feel that this does have a lot of sentiment to it so whatever the reason is, it is something that was very close to him. The opening lines seem to be a little childish in their style and it could have been that he did not want to get too involved when singing it. This is another one that I give 8/10.
Billy - written by Blunt, Ghost, Skarbek
This seems to be quite clearly someone looking back at the mistakes they made. They seemed to have the person they wanted and then cheated on them and have been caught out.
"Once he was a lover sleeping with another. Now he's just known as a cheat".
Considering the topic it is a bright and lively song. He shows how powerful his voice can be and how well he can hold long notes. The chorus is very easy to remember and this was one that I found I was singing along to more than the others. It gets 9/10 for being so memorable.
Cry - written by Blunt and Skarbek
Throughout this seems to be about friendship although maybe more a female friend than a male one. A friend that he feels pity for and want to help. It is the one that makes me feel the most sad as he sings about death and loss with such feeling.
"I have seen birth. I have seen death. Lived to see a lover's final breath."
Again there could be elements of war as the death and lover's final breath could be different incidents. I tend not to listen to music as much as lyrics and a voice but this has something about it that makes the music just as important. I am getting a bit consistent here - another 9/10
No Bravery - written by Blunt and Skarbek
I found this the most emotional of all the tracks. Often there are songs about war but few of them have been written by people who have been there. As I have a particular interest in the war poets I felt a connection to this song. I loved the track but hate the fact that this may have been written from exact experience.
Unfortunately I think it has been as on this track the singer is Capt J. Blunt whereas all the others are J Blunt.
The war is shown from the people's eyes and not the soldiers, showing the horrors that happen to people who have no way to fight back.
"Old men kneel to accept their fate. Wives and daughters cut and raped. A generation drenched in hate."
Despite the subject matter being so sad I still think that it deserves 10/10 if only because it shows the innocents who suffer in war.
Reading back I am aware that I keep talking about his voice and his range but it really is impressive. He has music to all his tracks but carries the song well himself. I have bought other CDs of his but still find "Goodbye My Lover" to be my joint favourite track of all - 1973 is the other one.
It is currently the 16th highest selling UK album of the 21st Century and as would be imagined got to No 1 being the decades best-selling album 2000-2009. 8 of the tracks have been used for adverts or in films.
Summary: Great to listen to.