On his fifth studio album, The Afterlove, James Blunt collaborates with an array of highly respected song writers namely; Ed Sheeran, Ryan Tedder (OneRepublic), Amy Wadge (who worked with Ed Sheeran on the award winning song Thinking Out Loud) and Johnny McDaid (producer). With this holy affinity cluster of musicians, the song writing is the champion of this album.
The Afterlove opens with the lead single, Love Me Better which sets the tone of the entire album. You should be in an emotionally open state to resonate with this collection of songs. The actual music and production keeps you going, but the lyrical content can be quite laborious if you listen for too long in a single sitting.
About a third of the way into the album there was a distinct peak in my interest in the track Don’t Give Me Those Eyes. It opens with the stripped back sound of the piano and vocals followed by the epic full textured vocal harmonies and strings of the chorus. This powerful shift made a strong impact. Someone Singing Along, continued to hold my full attention- I kind of wish this song was presented as the first single. It has a great laid back feel and an affirmative message that deviates from his usual trope of love lost. The album then dips down again and right at the end a great upbeat track, aptly named Over, closes the The Afterlife (the extended version). I want to hear more of these sorts of songs from James Blunt in the future.
The Afterlove is a demonstration of secure song writing ability, but it was not as lyrically strong in my opinion. Overall it’s a solid collection and has a couple of gems.