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Back to Bedlam
     

Back to Bedlam

4.3 25
by James Blunt
 

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There's always a place for a feisty young Brit with sweet songs, and James Blunt's sound triangulates just about perfectly between Coldplay, David Gray, and Damien Rice. Blunt, 28, comes from a long line of military men and served in Kosovo -- one song here, "No Bravery," directly addresses what he saw there. Becoming a professional musician in 2002, he was quickly

Overview

There's always a place for a feisty young Brit with sweet songs, and James Blunt's sound triangulates just about perfectly between Coldplay, David Gray, and Damien Rice. Blunt, 28, comes from a long line of military men and served in Kosovo -- one song here, "No Bravery," directly addresses what he saw there. Becoming a professional musician in 2002, he was quickly snapped up by hitmaker Linda Perry's label and Elton John's management, and it's easy to see why: Long available in the U.K. -- where it knocked Coldplay out of the No. 1 spot -- Back to Bedlam is strikingly mature for a debut. Blunt's voice is smooth but also biting, and veteran producer Tom Rothrock (Beck, Elliott Smith) helps him to work that contrast beautifully across the album, using '70s-era equipment that gives Bedlam a sound that's warm and familiar without being retro. The album is soothing enough to act as background music, but it's also sufficiently barbed to win over fans of more cynical songs. It's got "sensitive" written all over it, and Blunt flips into a falsetto so frequently that it may not suit all tastes, but the future looks bright indeed for this former soldier boy.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
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.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/04/2005
Label:
Atlantic
UPC:
0075678375224
catalogNumber:
83752
Rank:
27756

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

James Blunt   Primary Artist,Vocals,Various
Mike Tarantino   Guitar
Mister Nau   Piano,Hammond Organ,Background Vocals,Wurlitzer,Tack Piano
C. Paxton   Drums

Technical Credits

Guy Chambers   Composer
Linda Perry   Producer,Audio Production
Tom Rothrock   Producer,Audio Production
Ricky Ross   Composer
Amanda Ghost   Composer
Sacha Skarbek   Composer
David Guerrero   Engineer
Mike Tarantino   Engineer
Todd Interland   Management
Jimmy Hogarth   Composer,Producer
James Blunt   Composer,Artwork

Customer Reviews

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Back to Bedlam 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was getting ready for my classes one fall morning and my roommates were already gone, so I switched on the TV to Good Morning America, which I was so accustomed to back home. They usually have a music guest on every so often, but they're usually not very good live. However, when James Blunt started singing, I was brushing my teeth at the time--I literally stopped to hear his absolutely gorgeous voice. He sang "You're Beautiful" and I was completely and utterly entranced by him. I am an avid fan of Coldplay and he, though new in the limelight, certainly does match up. My favorite James Blunt songs are "Tears and Rain", "High", and of course his hit single, "You're Beautiful". His lyrics are surprisingly simple, but absolutely brilliant and it makes you want to cry. His voice is amazing and he has such a way of mesmerizing his audience. I highly highly highly recommend James Blunt.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow, this is such a great CD . Almost all the songs are very soothing and calming to listen to . I was allured to this CD from the song "You're Beautiful" and I loved every track right away .
Guest More than 1 year ago
This cd amazes me because I didn't expect it to be that good. I love all the songs, particularly "You're Beautiful", "Cry" and "No Bravery". The guitar and piano accompaniment is soft enough to bring out the singer's voice and invite me to appreciate the lyrics. James Blunt's modulated voice with falsetto is clear and interesting, it catches me. His words are poetic, thoughtful and poignant. I can't wait to hear what this artist will give us next.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the best albums I have heard in a long time. This album is amazing. Every single song on it is a 5 star song. I bought the album off of iTunes. If it were possible to wear out a mp3 I would have done it already. Words cannot explain how perfect this album is. Just buy it! Just buy it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I keep hearing that song on the radio, and boy is it bad. No wonder the RIAA has to resort to suing people to make money.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I swear if I have to hear this song "You're Beautiful" ONE more time, I will ask someone to grab a loaded gun and put a bullet in my brain. Truth be told I don't listen to this stuff anyway, but Jesus H. Christ, everyday at work this song comes on at least 5 times, and that can drive a sane man insane in no time. I kindly ask all of you who find this "good" to expand your music catolog into some more intense stuff, like Metallica, Pantera, Sepultura, etc. Angrier in tone yes, but about as real as music gets. Unfiltered, raw power. Getcha pull of that and see the results.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I never write reviews. I always say I would like to, but I never get around to it. However, I would be remiss if I didn't tell everyone I could about this album. I was shopping in J.Crew and his voice literally stopped me in my tracks. I asked the salesperson, not about the cashmere sweater I was looking at, but about the cd that was playing. When she didn't know, I went so far as to ask her to check. She came back out with a sheet of paper that had his name and the title of the cd on it. I immediately went to the local music store and picked it up. It's a great cd. The lyrics are so real and believable. It's not angsty enough to make you want to kill yourself, but it does depict love and sometimes loss. In short, I recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was not expecting such a great cd, but what really got my attention to buy the cd was the song "high" and now I'm just addicted to the whole cd. Awesome Cd! Check it out!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been listening to this CD for 7 monthes straight EVERY nite- it is wonderful and sensitive!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Its been a very long time since some actually sang from their soul...my God this album stopped me at my tracks when the cd started playing there was complete silence.I for one for the first time in years felt my heart beating to the truth of this album... ten stars....
marlajean3 More than 1 year ago
I really love James's music, and it is greater yet to watch him.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It just isn't what I expected. I is still a very good cd, but I find his voice kind of annoying after a while to be honest. I originally gave it two stars, but changed my mind because I can see that it is a very good cd. I was just disappointed. Well there is my input.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This cd is by far my favorite find of the year. It's so thoughtful and unpredictable. It's not your normal "i love her, but she doesn't love me back, woe is me" compilation of songs. You can listen to the lyrics and see what he's writing and feel like you were a part of his experiences with the Royal Army in England. This cd, simply put, is amazing!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A little late on the British pop/rock scene, I picked up James Blunt's music as an afterthought. I was immediately struck by the poignant words and exquisite composition of each song. This is a must have!
Guest More than 1 year ago
One word: AMAZING Great Artist, Great Songs, Great Lyrics, this guy is just ah-mazing, I have to say he is 20 times better in concert though =], James Blunt truly has an amazing voice, I've been listening since the CD came out =]
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great new CD. Highly recomended to those with a romantic side. Many of his songs we can all relate to at some point in our life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a disapointment. I bought this because I liked the song "Beatiful". Most of the cd is nothing but mooring love songs, set to second hand chords and melodies. The last thing we need is another easy listening male artist. That's what we have Elton John for
Guest More than 1 year ago
Even though James Blunt has been almost over played on commercial radio, he's still awesome. His songs are vulnerable and honest in a way that evokes Damien Rice or David Grey. I love James Blunt's "Back to Bedlam" and am now a huge fan.
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