In some ways the music of James Blunt is a little like marmite. There are those who like it, and those who absolutely hate it. Regardless though, at the core of every James Blunt song is simply the soul of a man who is writing music because it’s a passion for him, and because it comes easy to him. On Blunt’s fourth album ‘Moon Landing’, we can see much of this natural style of song-writing again, as well as even more maturity than what was present on Blunt’s previous two albums. At the very core of ‘Moon Landing’ is a selection of songs that make up a fairly strong album, ranging from upbeat pop-tracks to the more somber downbeat ones that aren’t unbeknownst of Blunt.
On ‘Moon Landing’ we see elements of Blunt’s fairly typical style of downbeat tracks that meander around delicate instrumentals, which contrast somewhat with a few fairly upbeat tracks present on the album. (or at least upbeat by James Blunt standards). The whole album experience feels much more rounded and solid than perhaps 2010’s ‘Some Kind Of Trouble’ or 2007’s ‘All The Lost Souls’, with each song contributing nicely to the album, without there being a lackluster element. ‘Moon Landing’ seems to be a strong album by Blunt that doesn’t necessarily return to the roots of his debut effort, but rather elaborates on his ever maturing style. At times the music is enjoyable, and at other times, rather emotional and sad. It seems that some of the downbeat tracks present on ‘Moon Landing’ are in fact some of Blunt’s strongest and most enjoyable since his debut release, with a special nod to ‘Miss America’, James Blunt’s tribute to Whitney Houston.
Where ‘Moon Landing’ has its faults is in one or two songs sounding a little bit to gimmicky, with the creative ideas utilized for the songs themselves, not actually contributing much to the overall album. At times, Blunt seems to go one idea too far, with a much better idea being just holding back a little, and not over-saturating his own style with unnecessary gimmicks. The overall album seems to come across as one of Blunt’s better efforts in years, but it seems like these gimmicks are attempts to really push away the style from this debut effort when in fact, Blunt could benefit from simply utilizing its strengths, and the strengths from his maturing style.
Overall, ‘Moon Landing’ comes across as one of Blunt’s more stronger album efforts. Something about the album just seems enjoyable, with each song contributing nicely to the overall album’s shape and sound. It seems Blunt has come a long way since his debut effort, and now it really feels like it’s all starting to show. On a fair few of the songs on ‘Moon Landing’, it seems hard to imagine Blunt sitting in the recording studio feeling miserable as he records the songs. There’s a sense of enjoyment and fun that exudes from the songs themselves, presenting ‘Moon Landing’ as one of Blunt’s better album releases.
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
- Face The Sun
- Miss America
- Always Hate Me
- Blue On Blue
James Blunt’s fourth studio album ‘Moon Landing’ is out now.