All the Lost Souls

Studio Album by released in 2007
All the Lost Souls's tracklist:
1973
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One of the Brightest Stars
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I'll Take Everything
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Same Mistake
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Carry You Home
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Give Me Some Love
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I Really Want You
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Shine On
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Annie
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I Can't Hear the Music
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All the Lost Souls review

Commercial act or true talent?

As it is well known money and fame have an ability to change people, especially when they come unexpectedly. From this perspective James Blunt's second album is a pretty unpredictable thing - who knows how a sudden fame could affect him. The more so because he didn't do anything extraordinarily complicated to become a super star that he is today. "You're beautiful/you're beautiful/you're beautiful/it's true" – you can't think of anything simplier but precisely these lines won hearts of millions (to be more precise of 14 millions, according to the number of sold albums). And here lies the main question: what was it, a comercially considered act or simply Blunt's inborn talent to write songs that go stright to the soul? Hopefully and most likely the latter is true. He was simply writing songs, which eventually turned out to be world hits. But when speaking about his second album it is worth mentioning that Blunt's life changed more than drastically since those times he was writing that material. Before Back To Bedlam he was unknown composer and retired officer, but today he is one of the most selling British pop artists with all typical attributes of a big star. Therefore we all have a unique chance to see either two years of wealth affected his artistic approach or not.

Weepy message

The first thing to mention about James Blunt's second album is that All The Lost Souls is a bipolar album - there are things you can mock at but there are things you can feel happy about. The album has a strongly marked commercial coloring. It remains unknown what Blunt was aiming at but All The Lost Souls will most likely wash out a certain part of his male audience. In most cases the album sounds even softer and more sentimental than Back To Bedlam and first of all in the way of material's presentation. His weepy massage remains the same but his musical originality became slightly blunted. However, it is still early for snobs to rub their hands with joy. James Blunt is still a gifted person and therefore the album has a good share of really catchy hooks and tunes. The first song 1973 is a fairly demonstrating example. This track entirely corresponds to its title – everything is done in the vain of pop rock of early seventies with a correction for modern production and Blunt's easily recognizable romantic manner. The songs is played in a pretty fast dance tempo, which actually may mislead listeners because in reality the number of ballads and half ballads on All The Lost Souls exceeds all the reasonable limits.

Piano domination

In fact, Blunt's excessive love to ballads is his strong point and his curse at the same time. The album is generally based on slow lyric compositions. Blunt frequently makes use of piano and sings without full band support here and there throughout the entire record. It all looks simply wonderful in separate cases but when the same formula repeats time and again the songs begin losing their individuality. One Of The Brightest Stars, for instance, sounds beautiful indeed but it can hardly stick to one's memory as we keep facing approximately the same atmosphere up to the very end of the album. So it's no wonder that the vintage point belongs to the songs that combine balladry with rock energy. Listen to Carry You Home, it starts with sensitive piano passages and then gradually resolves into a full-fledged and powerful rock composition. I'll Take Everything also sounds sufficiently interesting; it features a tricky mixture of nice dance beats and piano. Give Me Some Love is worthy of separate mentioning; this is probably the best ballad of All The Lost Souls. Overall, the album sounds predictable – there are no surprises. Of course, James Blunt tried his best but it seems like he tried too hard. His own standards have driven him into the artistic corner, which he will hopefully leave in the future. However, the album will have success any way, in fact, any fan of Back To Bedlam will find his or her favorites here, on a big scale James Blunt sounds just like he should sound. The only thing this records lacks sometimes is that very sincerity that brought him to the top of the music world.