Having sold over 20 millions albums around the world throughout the last decade of his musical career as well as conquering America, thanks to a little ballad known as You’re Beautiful back in 2005, James Blunt has returned this month with the highly anticipated studio album, Moon Landing, the fourth addition to his catalogue and the first since 2010’s Some Kind of Trouble.
Aiming to emulate the success of his Back to Bedlam debut, Blunt went back to Tom Rothrock, the producer of his first two albums. He was in the middle of recording Moon Landing when his acoustic version of Miss America, a tribute song to the late Whitney Houston went viral gaining Blunt further wide spread attention. When the Moon Landing’s lead single, Bonfire Heart was released earlier this year, it reached the Top 5 in music charts around the world – something that hadn’t happened for several years.
James Blunt seems to have matured and this is reflected in his lyrics, song structure and vision for this new album. It combines deep emotion (as usual with Blunt) and his signature smooth pop which is conveyed by heavy piano, light synth and calming vocals. Satellites is one of the more pop influenced songs contained on Moon Landing – it uses a basic electric guitar riff and drum pattern mixed in with a string section and piano. Blunt tries to make the chorus catchy but it sort of feels just a little flat and hollow for our liking.
Bonfire Heart was the first single to come out of Moon Landing and it’s reminiscent of the folk/acoustic music genre which includes the likes of Mumford & Sons, Angus & Julia Stone and more recently, Passenger. Blunt taps into this genre on this track and though t’s risky territory for anyone that is a pop artist more renowned for his heart breaking/heart warming songs to venture within, he masters it with ease and the outcome is a radio-friendly and memorable hit to usher in this brand new album.
The standout song on this album for me is Heart to Heart which has a full pop rock sound very similar to Matchbox 20/Rob Thomas. It’s catchy and contains a nice mix of different musical influences and styles and its a track that I predict we will be hearing on the radio very soon. This is followed by Miss America which sounds reminiscent to Wisemen from Blunt’s Back To Bedlam release and therefore welcomes in some Blunt nostalgia within this fresh collection of pennings.
Moon Landing shows a more mature Blunt who is willing to take risks to get back to the top of the charts again, even if that means doing less of the things that made him great but that is the sign of a truly great artist – someone who isn’t afraid to dabble in foreign musical territory for the sake of creating something bold and modern. Moon Landing is a fantastic new record for Blunt and one that we highly recommend is given a thorough listen.