If you look at the reviews of this album before it was well known, they all think it was a fantastic find. When it hit number one with both album and single, a few bad reviews appeared. Interestingly, the new reviews that paint a negative picture of this album all seem to include some sort of personal attack on James Blunt, or even personal attacks on people who enjoy the album. Fortunately, I ignored these often uninformed reviews and actually bought the album, and can say it is very good.
The songs are very strong. The production is simple, but effective, and James' voice is a remarkable instrument. The album has not been hyped. It's been around for just under a year, and developed organically. The songs change from up-tempo to slow and dark. Some have a band-like feel, others stripped down and raw. It feels like an intimate album that reflects it's independent record label roots, but confident enough to be relevant to a broad spectrum of people.
If you are shallow enough not to like posh people, or inadequate enough to despise anything that is popular in order to show off your independent thinking, don't get this album. If you appreciate good music, I recommend you give Back to Bedlam a go.