Simply put, James Blunt is the most successful debut artist of the year in the UK! However, he isn't one of those guys who finished school and set off to become a musician. The one time British army captain (and latest ina long line of Blunts in the armed forces) served stints as a peacekeeper in Kosovo and guard at Buckingham Palace before hanging up his uniform. His days of carrying a gun behind him, Blunt quickly began turning heads with his soaring vocals and stirring songs. His debut album, Back to Bedlam, has earned widespread praise, including comparisons to the likes of Damien Rice, David Gray and a young Elton John. Atlantic. 2005.
As a piece of propaganda, James Blunts album Back to Bedlam
does more for changing the face of the British Army than a series of television adverts ever could. Swapping a rifle for a guitar, the former cavalrymans ballad-heavy debut is a clearly aiming to win the battle for the publics hearts and minds. The U.K. success of singles like "Youre Beautiful" and "No Bravery" (inspired by his time stationed in Bosnia) are both heartfelt and sensitive, the latter packing an additional emotional punch beyond the typical lovelorn ballads of his contemporaries like Damien Rice. But Blunt also sings with conviction about matters of the heart, and thats the territory that most of Back to Bedlam
visits, with songs of loss like "Goodbye My Lover", "So Long Jimmy" and "Billy". And throughout, the arrangements remain understated yet effective, thanks to the input of such heavyweight producers and songwriters like Linda Perry and Guy Chambers. All of which prove that theres a lot of depth to this modern, musical hero. --Robert Burrow