Released: 17th September 2007.
Following up “Back To Bedlam” was frankly a task that very few people would want to do. So, the big question – is it a letdown, is it a carbon copy, or is it possibly even better than his debut?
Well opening up with lead single “1973” was an eminently sensible decision, as it’s a strong song with natural opener credentials. Second track “One Of The Brightest Stars” is another potential single, with it’s instantly memorable “and they said ‘Told you so’” hook. As you work your way through the album, you realise that this is very distinctively James Blunt, but thankfully doesn’t sound too much like it’s a carbon copy of his debut – there’s not much on here that you could say “that’s the new [insert track on “Back To Bedlam]”.
Musically, this album is very similar to the debut, but I’m not 100% sure yet whether it quite matches up. However, where this album really shines is lyrically. You can tell this album is a more accomplished affair and it seems to hang together slightly better as well. True, he’ll probably never do another “You’re Beautiful” – particularly musically – but I must still say this is a fantastic album, with track after track of great pop music.
The highlight of the album however is left to the end. “I Can’t Hear The Music” is almost as spellbinding as “No Bravery” was to end on, a true lighters-in-the-air anthem which also gives us a rather interesting answer to a question of the first album. Yes, on the first album he said “Billy’s leaving today, don’t know where he’s going”. Now, he’s saying that “Billy’s got himself a gun”, so I guess we know where he went!