Top positive review
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A lost Soul worth finding
on 1 December 2008
Following the superb debut album `Back to Bedlam' was never going to be easy for James Blunt but this album, originally released just over a year ago was an excellent effort. Songs like the compulsive `1973' and the moving ballads `Same Mistake' and `Carry you Home' are the standout tracks. However, scratch below the surface and there are more classic James Blunt songs lurking. `One of the brightest Stars' is a truly moving piece whilst the softly starting `I really want you' (here presented in a vastly superior `radio' mix which includes added instrumentation) grabs your brain and you just can't stop humming it. `Annie' is co-written by Jimmy Hogarth (he, who is `Jimmy' in `So long Jimmy' from `Back to Bedlam') and along with `Give me some love' is one of the two riff based songs on the album. Other ballad highlights elsewhere are `Shine On' and `I can't hear the Music', the former being a highlight of James's live show.
So what else can you possibly add to this already superb album ? Well there's the one new song recorded by James and premiered on his recent tour `Love, love, love'. I didn't actually go too much on this song when I heard it live but repeated listening proves that its is another classic. Three live cuts then make up the extras on disc 1. Noddy Holder and Jimmy Lea's first number one hit for Slade `Coz I luv you' was a rousing live song which featured James running off the stage and into the crowd to the rear and waving to those sitting at the back (as I was at the O2). He then continued the song at a piano off-stage from the rest of the band and the cheers you can hear on this rendition from Glastonbury bear this out. `Young Folks' is a gentle song performed on a radio broadcast and then finally we get James's version of Supertramps `Breakfast in America'.
The second CD (which is a DVD) features a pot pourri of live cuts of which the first three songs are recorded live at the Abbey Road Studios and the next two feature a concert recorded in Paris where the audience singing in `Goodbye my lover' is particularly evident (and loud!). There are promo videos for the singles off the album along with short documentaries on their making. The collaboration with Sinik entitled `Je Realise' is a welcome inclusion here as are a `Return to Kosovo' (where James served in the Army) and a short profile of James.
Worth buying ? If you're a James Blunt fan you have to have this even if you already own the album. If you haven't got the album already, then what are you waiting for; buy this version now!