James Blunt is officially back.
After the well-deserved success of Bonfire Heart (which was his first UK top ten hit in seven years), the often-derided singer-songwriter has produced a follow-up single to kick off his world tour.
It’s clear from its title that Blunt has an affinity for hearts. Co-written with Daniel Parker and Robopop (whose production credits include Lana Del Rey’s modern classic Video Games), Heart to Heart SOUNDS nothing like earlier singles like Goodbye My Lover and 1973. Firstly, it is much faster by comparison. Secondly, the ‘happy’ arrangement even swings a little, driven by an exuberant guitar and piano riff accentuated by a concert-ready, double-beat clap.
Of course, Blunt stays true to form by singing again about the uncertainty of being with someone. The lyrics border on being infantile (‘there are times where I don’t know where I stand, you make me feel like I’m a boy and not a man’), but are forgiven by the infectious melody. Hooks are plentiful (‘whoa-ohhh-ohhh-oh-oh’), and smooth the transition from the verses to the choruses. In pop music, there is hardly anything better than verses and choruses that actually flow together.
The choruses continue the fun folk-pop, as Blunt re-affirms that despite everything, he sees ‘eye to eye, heart to heart’ and all is well. The ear-worm ‘you and I/won’t part un/til we die’ is rhythmically brilliant and simply can’t be ignored.
Heart to Heart may be cornier than the lead single off Moon Landing, but still has heart as it is quite possibly the most feel-good James Blunt track ever.