James Blunt returns to the music world armed with his new album Moon Landing, a collection of classic Blunt-esque tragedies accompanied by sombre piano merged with unusually upbeat and catchy songs. James Blunt is such a bittersweet experience, mostly in the way his voice grates on every bone in your body, but all of his songs make for a great background to a chilled evening.
Having released no albums since 2010 and circulating rumours last year that he had quit music forever, Moon Landing seemed to creep up on the world just when they thought they were safe. The man tarred more annoying than the notorious Crazy Frog has once again picked up a guitar, travelled the world to find inspiration, found absolutely none and written about the same things in his previous musical ventures. But hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
Of course if you’re expecting some kind of new reinvented James Blunt you’re not going to find it here. The new album still shows Blunt firmly standing in the realms of soft rock/pop, despite attempting to promote the rawness of his new records.
However, not all the songs are ‘crawl into a corner and die lonely’ themed. Second track; Satellites is too catchy for its own good. The chorus is reminiscent of a generic Take That song, with a poppy drum beat and jangly ukulele accompaniment, Satellites becomes perhaps the only shining example that James Blunt can actually write a decent song.
Other songs on the album include a ballad supposedly about the death of pop queen Whitney Houston, entitled ‘Miss America’. God knows why he wrote this song, introduced by depressing shitty melodies that would usually be found on a Lana Del Ray record, complete with a cringey and whiney chorus. Why James, why?
Much of the album is very similar in that is totally forgettable. His first single released from the album, ‘Bonfire heart’, isn’t much better. Although it’s currently, somehow, in the top ten. It will no doubt drop off soon. He’s tried to go all Mumford and Sons with a built up chorus, but it just doesn’t touch it. Good try though James.
‘Bones’ sounds like a weak attempt at a club track, and it even has a drop, presumably the inspiration came from his time in Ibiza. Postcards has it’s similarities to early Jason Mraz records which isn’t so much of a bad thing, and the rest of the album just speaks for itself. It seems James Blunt has difficulty in lending an ear to his own sound and must simply regurgitate the rest of the charts over and over.
There are some highlights to Moon Landing and it is actually possible to enjoy it eventually(believe it or not), but it is no surprise that album pans out the way it has. It sounds like a James Blunt album, it sounds like a soft rock/pop album, it’s not great but not all hope is lost.
Words by Ashley Howell