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Back to Bedlam

496 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 4, 2005
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Product Description

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 Blunt’s 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 cavalryman’s ballad-heavy debut is a clearly aiming to win the battle for the public’s hearts and minds. The U.K. success of singles like "You’re 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 that’s 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 there’s a lot of depth to this modern, musical hero. --Robert Burrow
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 4, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B000301YY8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (496 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,591 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

113 of 117 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 6, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This album is not something you'd expect from a guy who studied engineering, was a part of the NATO peacekeeping force in Kosovo, rode horseback for the Queen and watched over the Queen Mother as she lay in state. Colorful background aside, it's hard to imagine his reedy falsetto warbling through the streets of Serb villages or recording music in his landlady's bathroom, but that's exactly the way it happened for James Blunt.

His voice takes a little getting used to, but the track "Goodbye My Lover" brings to mind Supertramp's "Goodbye Stranger" from the Breakfast in America album. Most of the other tracks display a lot of raw emotion. Drawing from personal experience, he sings of love, heartbreak, pain, relationships and unattainable romance.

The first single "High" asks:

"Will you be my shoulder when I'm grey and older?

Promise me tomorrow starts with you"

Other prime tracks are "Wisemen" the second hit single; "You're Beautiful" about a love that can never be (watch out for the single, totally unexpected expletive); and "So Long Jimmy" and "Billy" which up the tempo just a tad.

As the emotionally charged track "Cry" begins:

"I have seen peace, I have seen pain,

Resting on the shoulders of your name.

Do you see the truth through all their lies?

Do you see the world through troubled eyes?

And if you want to talk about it anymore,

Lie here on the floor and cry on my shoulder.

I'm a friend."

After you listen to this album, you'll feel you have a friend in James.

Amanda Richards, July 6, 2005
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316 of 342 people found the following review helpful By Ismail Elshareef VINE VOICE on October 18, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This stunning debut by James Blunt--a British soldier turned musician--will take your breath away; literally! Every single track on this beautiful release is lyrically multidimensional with incredible depth and addictive melodies. It's definitely the best release by a new artist this year hands down.

The ballad-heavy, Back to Bedlam, is romanticism reinvented. The ecstatic High starts off the album with James pleading, "Will you be my shoulder / when I am gray and older / promise me tomorrow starts with you."

It's followed by "You're Beautiful"--an ode to love that can't be had. Equally beautiful and heartbreaking as he sings, "But it's time to face the truth / I will never be with you."

"Wisemen", one of my favorite tracks, asks "Gotta ask yourself the question / where are yo now?" It's one of those

In the melancholic ballad "Goodbye my Lover", James pleads with his departed love to remember the good times they had together and try to be his friend. He ends it with the chilling, "I'm so hollow baby / I'm so hollow."

Then comes my favorite track in this release, "Tears and Rain", in which James wishes he could do away with all the demons in his head and soul; the conflicts that come with the simple act of living life. He even makes a reference to 'Dorain Gray"--Oscar Wild's alter ego character from The Picture of Dorian Gray. Absolutely solid track!

The album goes on with songs commenting on the craziness of life's affairs with "Out of my Mind" to infidelity with "Billy."

"Cry" and "No Bravery" are two emotionally packed tracks through which James tells us what he thinks of war.
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73 of 77 people found the following review helpful By R. Sousa on December 4, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
OK, so those folks across the pond were in on this before most of us, but now that we've got it, wow are we lucky. This has to be near the top of my "Best of 2005" list because it's somehow different, perfectly produced and includes ten totally diverse songs that make this first effort quite amazing. Starting with "High" the opening song, and followed by the radio single, "You're Beautiful" and right through to the tenth song, "No Bravery", this CD is first rate. Only down side - the F word on the non-radio version of "You're Beautiful", which honestly works better using the word flying as the F word anyway. It's more natural and doesn't seem so forced. I use the F word, but frankly it just wasn't necessary here. Bought the Clean version of the CD after having the explicit copy..........suggest you do the same! James Blunt is the real thing!
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By JR Pinto on July 25, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I discovered James Blunt a few days ago during my morning commute. A DJ at WPLJ in New York had just returned from a trip to Europe and couldn't stop raving about the single "You're Beautiful." Coincidentally, Blunt happened to be in New York at the time and - even though his record hadn't been officially released in America yet - invited him onto the program to perform a set. On the strength of that performance, I went out and purchased the import album.

Blunt - who has a colorful past in the Royal Armed Forces - may be a great, emerging singer-songwriter. His debut album is mature and tuneful, with deftly written lyrics. It is unusual to have a pop-song make reference to Dorian Grey nowadays, but Blunt pulls it off. Now, I am hearing "You're Beautiful" on mainstream American stations, so I can only assume his popularity will continue to rise.
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I hate James Blunt
I agree that MTV has single-handedly promoted an insurmountable amount of trash over the years but to accuse each and every entertainer that becomes famous by it is ridiculous. As far as elaborating on this Simon Cowell "Sixth Sense" of yours; really just comes down to your specific... Read More
Jan 4, 2007 by Dale Hooper |  See all 17 posts
James Blunt, or should I say, Flunk is music to slit your rists by.
Well, I just thought Id speak up for the people who still think Blunt rocks:) I personally think his voice is cool in a non-mainstream kind of way, and I think his lyrics are simple and touching. since you guys believe in free speech so much you'll agree its only fair that we fans get our say on... Read More
Nov 14, 2006 by sylvie guillem |  See all 10 posts
Is it his eyes or his voice???
I felt his music (his voice) all through my body.....he made me cry for being beautiful!
Jul 13, 2014 by Ellipses |  See all 2 posts
BeeGees comparison
Definately. There is no comparison. The Bee Gees have higher pitched voices and a more upbead tempo
Sep 17, 2007 by Humming bird |  See all 4 posts
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