Defend the Indefensible: James Blunt

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"Yahhhrrrr byeeeeetifaaaalllll"

Worst singer-songwriter to daytime radio crossover since... well, Shaun "Rockabye" Mullins, surely? And worse thing, it seems as though he's here for the duration, because that album is selling in numbers. Plus that oh-so-gloopy backstory of the soldier who realised that war was bad, mmmkay... No, I think Blunt is the face of shite in the 05.

Discuss.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:10 (fourteen years ago) link

He's not David Gray? (What has happened to David Gray?)

Sociah T Azzahole (blueski), Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:17 (fourteen years ago) link

you are correct. that is really the most horrible singing voice i've ever heard. i had only heard it on the TV ads til last week when i saw him on Glastonbury TV. his voice causes me severe pain.

jed_ (jed), Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:19 (fourteen years ago) link

Who is this k.d. dungstall? Is she related to k.d. lang?

Taste the Blood of Scrovula (noodle vague), Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:21 (fourteen years ago) link

original

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:22 (fourteen years ago) link

In my defence, the first time I'd heard of her was Monday. Also, the being crap thing.

Taste the Blood of Scrovula (noodle vague), Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:24 (fourteen years ago) link

ugh. UGH. tunstall might be the female version of blunt - awful schmaltzy singer-songwriter pap with blood-curdling vocals.

lauren (laurenp), Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:24 (fourteen years ago) link

How is he indefensible? He knows how to use all manner of weaponry.
I read a hilarious interview with him where he spoke about his influences as if describing them to an induction class of simple knock kneed Glaswegian squaddies- 'Buckley Junior, Buckley Senior' that sort of thing. They should have shot the public school ponce in the back. Our armed forces are as useless as the Yanks these days.

snotty moore, Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:25 (fourteen years ago) link

billy bragg to thread

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:26 (fourteen years ago) link

overheard in a Major Record Shop, Saturday morning:

"i'm getting that james blunt album 'cos he's fit"

this is why james blunt sells and antony and the johnsons do not.

sometimes i wonder why they even bother putting a cd in the case.

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:27 (fourteen years ago) link

SEZCH-YOOOO-ALLLEE-TEEEEE!!!

Billy Bragg, Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:28 (fourteen years ago) link

begone, Riff Raff!

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:28 (fourteen years ago) link

Antony is actually mancute when he has a wig on, but in his chemo Studio 54 get-up he's nothing to write home about.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:29 (fourteen years ago) link

EEEE-VENN IF YORRR DEREK OWT OV BIG BRAVVVA,
OI WAON'T TURN YOO AWAYYYYY!!!

Billy Bragg, Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:30 (fourteen years ago) link

Is Shaggy the most successful ex-soldier in music?

Sociah T Azzahole (blueski), Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:31 (fourteen years ago) link

The problem with Antony also is that he has several chins, all of which were rather visible on his Later with Jools Holland performance.

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:31 (fourteen years ago) link

(xpost)

i suppose so, if you're not counting elvis.

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:31 (fourteen years ago) link

Or Terence Trent D'Arby.

Taste the Blood of Scrovula (noodle vague), Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:32 (fourteen years ago) link

Who is the most successful non-conscripted soldier then? Hendrix?

xp- I've met Antony. He's not all that chinny.

snotty moore, Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:46 (fourteen years ago) link

I don't care for his music.

HOwever,

On TV, Cat (I think) mentioned that he'd played for the queen and asked how it went. He said "She said, "Off with his head"" in a funny voice.

Also some otherwise dull interview, the song was mentioned and how it was written about a previous g/f seen with a new b/f. "Did she like having a song about her?" was the Q. "You'd think so, wouldn't you!" exclaimed Mr B.

What a prat.

(Umm, I'm not exactly defending him here, am I?)

mark grout (mark grout), Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:55 (fourteen years ago) link

the "played for the queen" remarks have to be taken in context with the fact that his original sponsor/cheerleader was elton john.

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:59 (fourteen years ago) link

I can't be the only person who clicked on this thinking it was about James Blount.

Al (sitcom), Thursday, 30 June 2005 14:36 (fourteen years ago) link

I was WONDERING when someone would make the joke. First thing I thought of too.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 30 June 2005 14:39 (fourteen years ago) link

Yeah, wtf, you guys, I wanted some catty ILX insult-flinging.

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 30 June 2005 14:55 (fourteen years ago) link

agreed

Curt1s St3ph3ns, Thursday, 30 June 2005 15:48 (fourteen years ago) link

The only good things about James Blunt are a) rhyming last name and b) cheap ILX laffs as seen above.

Tom (Groke), Thursday, 30 June 2005 15:50 (fourteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
Bumping, in highlight of this Sunday's chart.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Monday, 18 July 2005 11:12 (fourteen years ago) link

David Gray is better after all, I have decided.

Sociah T Azzahole (blueski), Monday, 18 July 2005 11:16 (fourteen years ago) link

As is even John Legend.

Sociah T Azzahole (blueski), Monday, 18 July 2005 11:17 (fourteen years ago) link

As is Ben from A1.

BARMS, Monday, 18 July 2005 11:23 (fourteen years ago) link

As, even, is Lee "Army Of Lovers But Sadly Not Crucified" Ryan.

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Monday, 18 July 2005 11:24 (fourteen years ago) link

In fairness, he was on the Pyramid stage when I was waiting for Brian Wilson, and in the sun in a muddy field with a bad head and a can of beer and a j, he was marvellously inoffensive. Sure, I'd never in a million years BUY anything by him, or even listen to him consciously ever, but for about 20 mins on that morning it was perfect. So shoot me.

If, however, he becomes omnipresent, then he can join Colin (not edith) and Chris Martin on my spaceship to the sun.

Come Back Johnny B (Johnney B), Monday, 18 July 2005 11:43 (fourteen years ago) link

It really is a cowardly trick that Lee Ryan single, making me hear "And now, this is Army of Lovers..." on Radio 1 :(

Tom (Groke), Monday, 18 July 2005 11:44 (fourteen years ago) link

If, however, he becomes omnipresent, then he can join Colin (not edith) and Chris Martin on my spaceship to the sun.

What a yessed out opus that promises to be!

Sociah T Azzahole (blueski), Monday, 18 July 2005 11:58 (fourteen years ago) link

one month passes...
This song is about being on pills on the subway.

My life is brilliant.
My love is pure.
I saw an angel.
Of that I'm sure.
She smiled at me on the subway.
She was with another man.
But I won't lose no sleep on that,
'Cause I've got a plan.

Well done James you've made eyes at a hot chick on the subway, a bit like on that tic tacs ad. She was with another bloke but well that shouldn't stop you eh? You've got a plan. So let's hear this plan.

You're beautiful. You're beautiful.
You're beautiful, it's true.
I saw your face in a crowded place,
And I don't know what to do,
'Cause I'll never be with you.

What do you mean you "don't know what to do?" I thought you had a plan now you're all negative? What's happened here?

Yeah, she caught my eye,
As we walked on by.
She could see from my face that I was,
Fucking high,
And I don't think that I'll see her again,
But we shared a moment that will last till the end.

Wait a minute you were high? Were you gurning at her James? You "shared a moment that will last till the end?" Yeah right, couple of mitsi's was it?

You're beautiful. You're beautiful.
You're beautiful, it's true.
I saw your face in a crowded place,
And I don't know what to do,
'Cause I'll never be with you.
You're beautiful. You're beautiful.
You're beautiful, it's true.
There must be an angel with a smile on her face,
When she thought up that I should be with you.
But it's time to face the truth,
I will never be with you.

Comedowns suck.

Jarlr'mai (jarlrmai), Wednesday, 24 August 2005 10:33 (fourteen years ago) link

Does he really say 'fucking'?

Sociah T Azzahole (blueski), Wednesday, 24 August 2005 10:37 (fourteen years ago) link

(xpost)

Especially the one he does from that cliff in the video.

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Wednesday, 24 August 2005 10:37 (fourteen years ago) link

He does on the web lyrics I found.

xpost

Jarlr'mai (jarlrmai), Wednesday, 24 August 2005 10:39 (fourteen years ago) link

She could see from my face that I was,
Fucking high,
And I don't think that I'll see her again,

If that's the actual lyric, he's home safe.

mark grout (mark grout), Wednesday, 24 August 2005 10:39 (fourteen years ago) link

poor destiny's child, they asked for a soldier and this is what they get :(

though blunt's status definitely ain't hood.

The Lex (The Lex), Wednesday, 24 August 2005 10:40 (fourteen years ago) link

He is wearing a hood at the beginning of the video.

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Wednesday, 24 August 2005 10:40 (fourteen years ago) link

I just checked. Yep.

mark grout (mark grout), Wednesday, 24 August 2005 10:41 (fourteen years ago) link

Anthony is LOVELY. Blunt looks like Big Bird after a night on the tiles.

'I saw her on the subway...she was...wthnthrmn..' Wonder what it would sound like sung by someone with less of a nails-down-the-blackboard voice.

Mippy (Mippy), Wednesday, 24 August 2005 10:56 (fourteen years ago) link

The fellow out of Snap was a soldier too.

However, my vote goes to Cervantes.

PJ Miller (PJ Miller 68), Wednesday, 24 August 2005 11:06 (fourteen years ago) link

Via Nik Kershaw

PJ Miller (PJ Miller 68), Wednesday, 24 August 2005 11:06 (fourteen years ago) link

So was Shaggy.

Mippy (Mippy), Wednesday, 24 August 2005 11:11 (fourteen years ago) link

So was Billy Bragg.

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Wednesday, 24 August 2005 11:12 (fourteen years ago) link

And of course, Hendrix (Jimi not Nona)was in the paras (although if a new theory is correct he managed to get out of serving most of his time by pretending to be gay, which seems unlikely knowing Jimi's reputation...)

Which just proves that not all soldiers are untalented. But Blunt is. Tit.

Guilty Boksen (Bro_Danielson), Wednesday, 24 August 2005 11:24 (fourteen years ago) link

Albert Ayler!

Ward Fowler (Ward Fowler), Wednesday, 24 August 2005 11:43 (fourteen years ago) link

She could see from my face that I was,
Fucking high,
And I don't think that I'll see her again,

If that's the actual lyric, he's home safe.

-- mark grout (mark.grou...) (webmail), August 24th, 2005 11:39 AM. (later) (link)

I just checked the CD in HMV, and it is true. The single has (edit) on it, so I guess that's not the version.

mark grout (mark grout), Wednesday, 24 August 2005 11:51 (fourteen years ago) link

i haven't heard his new stuff. wake me up when it disappears.

That one guy that hit it and quit it, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 11:27 (twelve years ago) link

Looking forward to that 18-month coma then?

Matt DC, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 11:31 (twelve years ago) link

i'm slightly scared that i don't find 1973 utterly execrable. i'm either over the hill or he's actually got better.

CharlieNo4, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 11:37 (twelve years ago) link

i kind of feel that gwen, justin, and xtina all undershot last year and maybe mankind will luck out and blunt will also fade sooner than anticipated.

That one guy that hit it and quit it, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 11:37 (twelve years ago) link

rockismgonemad.com

Noodle Vague, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 11:44 (twelve years ago) link

There are a huge number of acts that annoy me more, and I don't understand the outright hatred.

That being said, I'm pretty indifferent towards the entire guy, and there are numerous musically similar acts that would have deserved his success way more.

Geir Hongro, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 12:36 (twelve years ago) link

Man, if even Geir isn't going to defend the guy....

Pashmina, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 12:40 (twelve years ago) link

...then it means ILM has a consensus.

That's fucking dead set frightening.

King Boy Pato, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 12:49 (twelve years ago) link

The weird thing about that NYT article is that they talk to Linda Perry about how he had a huge song that everyone hated without even bringing up that she wrote fucking "What's Up."

Charlie's right that "1973" is unsettlingly OK.

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 13:06 (twelve years ago) link

Someone who knows about these things told me recently that he doesn't even write his own material, which surprised me. But then, given that Blunt probably wasn't even born in 1973, that kind of makes sense.

"You're Beautiful" is definitely this decade's "What's Up" though, ie the worst song of their respective decade.

harveyw, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 13:27 (twelve years ago) link

Are there people who now champion 70s soft-rock who wanna argue that this kinda stuff in its 70s incarnation was good but Blunt is bad? Just curious

J0hn D., Wednesday, 19 September 2007 13:39 (twelve years ago) link

Are you arguing that there were no 70s soft-rock acts that were substantially better than James Blunt?

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 13:47 (twelve years ago) link

Did the question mark at the end of my sentence fail in its mission?

J0hn D., Wednesday, 19 September 2007 13:49 (twelve years ago) link

I dunno, it just seemed like an odd rhetorical stance to make unless that was your implication. Aren't there obviously tons of people who would make the argument your asking for? Were you trying to get a show of hands?

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 13:51 (twelve years ago) link

James Blunt is not Mondeo Pop. No way.

acrobat, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 13:51 (twelve years ago) link

Alex get a cup of coffee or a something, it's a question

J0hn D., Wednesday, 19 September 2007 13:52 (twelve years ago) link

if I'd known I was writing for professorial scrutiny instead of asking a question on a fuckin message board though maybe I'd've been extra careful about the "rhetorical stance" I'm taking by wondering something out loud

J0hn D., Wednesday, 19 September 2007 13:55 (twelve years ago) link

I think the issue is clearly that I've already had a cup of coffee.

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 14:47 (twelve years ago) link

I remember some interview (Linda Perry?) where she says something about "ah, he'd pretty much finished it" about her contribution.

So, why was her contribution necessary? It's not like it's a wonderful song afterwards either.

Is he still 'not completely writing songs' now?

Mark G, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 15:59 (twelve years ago) link

there was another songwriter employed on 'you're beautiful'. suzy knew her.

That one guy that hit it and quit it, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 16:03 (twelve years ago) link

this suzy knows a lot of lame people huh

omar little, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 17:24 (twelve years ago) link

I utterly detested 'You're Beautiful' but, nevertheless, I do think James Blunt has talent. The only other song of his I know * is 'Wisemen'. Although it has that multi-writer, corporate pop/rock stamp to the arrangement and production, I think it's a great song (especially for some evocative, unexpected chord progressions - from the verse, into and through the chorus). It's spoiled by an acoustic guitar solo that doesn't end on the right note (and which also feeds into the wrong section - ie the chorus - lacking a feeling of chordal twist at that point); also suffers from slightly annoying Natalie Imbruglia/'Torn'-style, 'hip hop-influenced sessionman' drumming. But, still, a lovely song.

* actually, reading the favourable comments above about '1973' I had a listen to that as well, just now, but I didn't like it.

dubmill, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 18:53 (twelve years ago) link

I can actually see where you're coming from re: 'Wisemen'; some of the chord progressions are nice, even if the vocal delivery/instrumentation/concept are utterly repellent.

Just got offed, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 19:02 (twelve years ago) link

When you say 'the concept' do you mean the lyrics? I haven't actually sat down and tried to work out what they mean. Maybe I'm scared that if I did I'd end up hating the song. There's a reference to someone living 'in a semi by the sea' (which sounds a bit dodgy * but just reminds me of 'The Sea' by Morcheeba, a reference compounded by the bleepy mid-90s keyboard twiddles in the background of the chorus).

* there being nothing wrong in living in a semi by the sea, in my opinion.

dubmill, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 19:09 (twelve years ago) link

The concept = the cynical AOR marketing, and all the baggage that comes with it. I know you should judge music purely by its sound, but I can't help but hate what Blunt stands for.

Just got offed, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 19:13 (twelve years ago) link

I know think you should judge music purely by its sound

J0hn D., Wednesday, 19 September 2007 20:08 (twelve years ago) link

Sorry, I need to be more scrupulous sometimes!

Just got offed, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 20:35 (twelve years ago) link

also suffers from slightly annoying Natalie Imbruglia/'Torn'-style, 'hip hop-influenced sessionman' drumming.

hi geir

That one guy that hit it and quit it, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 20:46 (twelve years ago) link

Wrong (not geir).

I've nothing against actual hip hop. I just have never liked that corporate session drummer style that is vaguely shuffley and 'hip hop influenced', but somehow too tasteful and technical sounding (especially when the actual drums have that nasty, hard, grainy, ambient-mic-ed 'live' sound very common today and over the last ten years or so).

dubmill, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 20:59 (twelve years ago) link

"You're Beautiful" is definitely this decade's "What's Up" though, ie the worst song of their respective decade.

That'd be "The Ketchup Song" and "Macarena".

Geir Hongro, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 21:19 (twelve years ago) link

I actually think this hip-hop/electronica kind of effects added to otherwise AOR style music is often great. Has worked well for Dido and Lene Marlin among others. But obviously not for James Blunt.

Geir Hongro, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 21:21 (twelve years ago) link

one year passes...

About.com sez:

Just because an artist is not particularly cool doesn't mean their music is unpleasant or even of poor quality. James Blunt's music is of very high quality, but it's those Bee Gees flashbacks his voice inspires that place him on the uncool list. It's possible that songs like the current mega-hit "You're Beautiful" will endure as treasured pop classics, but it's also possible it will eventually elicit the same snickers as Barry Gibb's wailing falsetto on "Tragedy." While he is comfortably selling millions of CDs to his fans, there are millions more that liken Blunt's high pitched voice to fingernails on a chalkboard.

ilxor, Friday, 6 March 2009 15:13 (eleven years ago) link

Antony is actually mancute when he has a wig on, but in his chemo Studio 54 get-up he's nothing to write home about.

― Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Thursday, 30 June 2005 12:29 (3 years ago) Bookmark

remember him this way

they probably drink corporate water (country matters), Friday, 6 March 2009 16:17 (eleven years ago) link

His second album's really good for a posh bloke!

Party Sausage, Friday, 6 March 2009 16:20 (eleven years ago) link

His version of Where is My Mind? by The Pixies is really good too, he makes it into a real epic.

Party Sausage, Friday, 6 March 2009 16:27 (eleven years ago) link

one year passes...

http://twitter.com/NICKIMINAJ/status/28536211731648512

<3 <3 <3

lex diamonds (lex pretend), Friday, 21 January 2011 21:53 (nine years ago) link

two years pass...

Singer James Blunt 'prevented World War III'

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11753050

http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/49934000/jpg/_49934426_010636299-1.jpg

Singer James Blunt has told the BBC how he refused an order to attack Russian troops when he was a British soldier in Kosovo. Blunt said he was willing to risk a court martial by rejecting the order from a US General.

But he was backed by British Gen Sir Mike Jackson, who said: "I'm not going to have my soldiers be responsible for starting World War III."

Blunt was ordered to seize an airfield, but the Russians had got there first.

In an interview with BBC Radio 5 live, broadcast on Sunday, he said: "I was given the direct command to overpower the 200 or so Russians who were there.

"I was the lead officer with my troop of men behind us...

"The soldiers directly behind me were from the Parachute Regiment, so they're obviously game for the fight.

"The direct command [that] came in from Gen Wesley Clark was to overpower them. Various words were used that seemed unusual to us. Words such as 'destroy' came down the radio."

Mark G, Monday, 9 September 2013 13:05 (six years ago) link

That's an old story

Tommy McTommy (Tom D.), Monday, 9 September 2013 13:06 (six years ago) link

So it is. Apols.

So, why is it in the "Top 20 news stories of Today" ?

Mark G, Monday, 9 September 2013 13:12 (six years ago) link

Yeah, I wondered that myself. Something to do with Syria or, more horrifically, he has a new album coming out?

Tommy McTommy (Tom D.), Monday, 9 September 2013 13:13 (six years ago) link

i bet its in Top 20 news stories of Today because people keep visiting it esp after its posted on messageboards and that

conrad, Monday, 9 September 2013 13:43 (six years ago) link

He has got a new album coming out, can't Obama do something about that too?

This is weird tho, from Wikipedia:

Blunt has just finished[58] recording his fourth studio album, entitled Moon Landing, as revealed by the singer in an email to fans.[59] It was released in October 2013 and featured production from Back to Bedlam producer Tom Rothrock. The lead single, "Bonfire Heart", was released on 7 October 2013.[60]

Tommy McTommy (Tom D.), Monday, 9 September 2013 13:53 (six years ago) link

we don't think about this enough but at this point wikipedia literally knows everything about everything, obv including the future

sleepingbag, Monday, 9 September 2013 14:16 (six years ago) link

Oh, it doesn't matter what I'm loking for, it just knows.

e.g. I was looking for "Clinic"

top google search gives me "Clinic (group)" yep, that's the exact Clinic I wanted.

ymmv, obv.

Mark G, Monday, 9 September 2013 14:23 (six years ago) link

Strange - it's actually an old story with an old date. I'd assumed it was being trotted out as a new story to coincide with a new album. Still, if true, I can't really begrudge him his music making anymore.

djh, Monday, 9 September 2013 19:07 (six years ago) link

two years pass...

https://twitter.com/JamesBlunt/status/753618984659025920

, Friday, 15 July 2016 13:14 (three years ago) link

four months pass...

@JamesBlunt
If you thought 2016 was bad - I'm releasing an album in 2017.
https://twitter.com/JamesBlunt/status/808599054989070336

skip, Tuesday, 13 December 2016 20:15 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

He really is terrible.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 1 February 2018 02:44 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

A public service announcement:

During lockdown, while many other artists are doing mini-concerts from their homes, I thought I’d do you all a favour and not.

— James Blunt (@JamesBlunt) March 25, 2020

Roz, Wednesday, 25 March 2020 11:27 (two weeks ago) link

When you laugh about people thinking you're shit to show what a good sport you are, but you're still shit

Two Gentlemen with the Rona (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 25 March 2020 11:29 (two weeks ago) link


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