James Blunt by James Sharpe

Currently warming up for Elton John in cavernous arenas and headlining such dirt boxes like the Water Rats in Kings Cross, James Blunt obviously has converts in high and low places ready to push his cause. Quite why is perplexing from this effort as it’s the musical equivalent of woodchip wallpaper; the sort of music for people who find David Gray a little too alternative and edgy.

Over expressive vocally and tending towards the melodramatic lyrically, it takes you places you’ve been dragged to a hundred times before. This lack of surprise is its downfall, everything is in its right place and predictable; you always seem to be one step ahead; foreseeing the melodys and waylaying the rhythms.

The production is as slick as a naked and oiled Terry Thomas on a greasy pole at a singles party and twice as smooth. It comes as no surprise to find that it was produced in LA, probably in a leather settee, mahogany walled studio that costs more to hire for a day than most people earn in a month.

The Christmas decorations on Carnaby St this year are comprised of thousands of discarded, glistening CD’s; a sort of public hanging of the artistic muse, next years display could well be made of unsold copies of “Back to Bedlam”