The Bottom Line
James Blunt took his home England by storm in 2005. This single and the album Back to Bedlam were among the biggest hits of the year across the Atlantic. Now, "You're Beautiful" is slowly creeping up the charts in the U.S., and it is well worth hearing. Be prepared, it may be hard to forget.
- Brilliantly minimalist lyrics strike a chord in the heart
- Distinctive voice that sets Blunt apart from others
- Simple, light touch to the performance
- Blunt's voice does take some getting used to
- Simple instrumental arrangement
- High tenor voice
- Quietly powerful lyrics
Guide Review - James Blunt - You're Beautiful (Atlantic)
If you've never heard or seen James Blunt, perhaps watching the video (available at James Blunt's official site) is the best introduction. You simply see a man standing amongst what looks like snow falling slowly removing clothing and emptying his pockets while singing an achingly gorgeous song about love at first sight that remains unfulfilled. Blunt, the man, is alone on the screen without adornment and only himself and his song to keep your attention. He is riveting.
James Blunt sings in a vocal register similar to the Bee Gees' Barry Gibb, and I suspect this is the primary reason for America's slowness to warm up to his music. Once you become accustomed to his voice, the elegant grace of his music enfolds you, and it is difficult to forget. The simple power of Blunt's songwriting is effective at conveying the pain of realizing he will never be with the object of his affections. James Blunt is a welcome addition to the male singer-songwriter pantheon that has been lacking in talented new non r&b performers in recent years.