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The Afterlove - Album reviews Expand / Collapse
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Posted 23 March 2017 02:30


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Critics reviews of the album The Afterlove began to be published. Let's hope for the best.

http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/music/the-afterlove-review-james-blunt-broadens-his-range-1.13303294

‘The Afterlove’ review: James Blunt broadens his range

Newsday
March 22, 2017
By Glenn Gamboa
glenn.gamboa@newsday.com

REVIEW
JAMES BLUNT
The Afterlove
THE GRADE: B+
BOTTOM LINE: Taking some musical and lyrical risks that pay off.

James Blunt knows how Ed Sheeran feels.

Back in 2006, when Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful” topped the charts, he was England’s “it” guy — his face practically as inescapable as his song.

So maybe it’s only fair that Blunt’s new album “The Afterlove” (Custard/Atlantic) has a new feel thanks, in part, to his new pal Sheeran, who encouraged Blunt to let down some of the defenses he built into his songwriting after all the attention his raw debut received.

Blunt and Sheeran even collaborated on the tender ballad “Make Me Better,” where Blunt is at his most vulnerable as he sings of his family. However, the more noticeable change is how Blunt embraces Sheeran’s mix of singer-songwriter lyrics and R&B rhythms on the first single “Love Me Better.”

The new combination works, especially on the groove-driven “California,” which sounds built less for Blunt than for Justin Bieber, who could easily have handled “Lose My Number” as well.

But Blunt is still most comfortable with his ballads, and he gives longtime fans what they want with the tender “Time of Our Lives” and “Heartbeat.” That mix makes “The Afterlove” Blunt’s best since his debut.

Post #282182
Posted 23 March 2017 03:47


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The Mail on Sunday – Event Magazine
By Adam Woods
19 March 2017

To put it bluntly, he's OK

James Blunt
The Afterlove
Atlantic, out Friday
3 stars/5

The first we heard of The Afterlove, James Blunt's fifth album, was in a tweet from the Ibiza-dwelling star in December last year. 'If you thought 2016 was bad,' he cracked, 'I'm releasing an album in 2017.'

A life of champagne and speedboats and a knack for Twitter zings might suggest this former tank commander can withstand the abuse he's borne since You're Beautiful's soppy, strummy tune turned to gold 12 years ago. Still, he apparently wouldn't mind if everyone eased off a bit.

'I've been called a d***, I've been called so many things,' he sings, with an admirably straight face, on The Afterlove's first song. 'I know I've done some s*** that I admit deserves it/but that don't mean it doesn't sting.'

Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. When someone once tweeted 'James Blunt just has an annoying face and a highly irritating voice', this was a man who cheerily replied: 'And no mortgage.'

He is classy enough, however, not to labour the theme of anti-Blunt meanness, instead focusing on love from his perspective as a fairly newly married man. Love Me Better and Lose My Number find a pleasant opening groove of listless playboy heartbreak that may well be an accurate reflection of the former life of an idly wealthy pop star with a phone full of supermodels' numbers.

However, by California, he's found true romance, as well as the album's best song, with a snappy, tense bridge exploding into a chorus that might flag up a hit in cooler hands.

Blunt is a decent songsmith who laid tracks for subsequent kind-eyed troubadours, none of them dramatically superior. The all-conquering Ed Sheeran, for one, co-writes two tunes here, including the wedding-day reverie Time Of Our Lives.

If Blunt's much-derided voice is still slightly wet, and the sentiments not overwhelmingly original, he might reasonably hope for less ridicule in a world in which his spirital little brother rules the charts.

Post #282185
Posted 23 March 2017 12:53


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From Australia

http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/music/latest-album-reviews-depeche-mode-james-blunt-drake-soulwax-and-spiral-stairs/news-story/9309f8daea1150db87c52045828f6970

23 March 2017

THE AFTERLOVE
JAMES BLUNT
[WARNER]
3 stars

So far James Blunt rebooting his sound hasn't quite worked. The Ryan Tedder co-write Love Me Better relocated Blunt's self-deprecation from Twitter into the studio and added the dreaded trop house sound. It peaked at No. 93 in the UK. At least he's taking risks on album No.5. Tedder's Lose My Number sounds like Akon after elocution lessons - a silver spoon in his mouth rather than a bottle of Cristal. California is his most successful experiment: brooding electronics a la Lorde - picture James Taylor doing Taylor Swift's Style. Ed Sheeran co-wrote the fatherhood and husband ode Make Me Better to sound like vintage Blunt - it does. The Simon and Garfunkel-y Heartbeat also plays to his strengths.

By CAMERON ADAMS
SOUNDS LIKE: James Blunt bored of being James Blunt
IN A WORD: curious

Post #282195
Posted 23 March 2017 14:55


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http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/music/album-reviews/james-blunt-is-back-with-the-afterlove-and-resistance-is-futile-1.3017280

James Blunt is back with The Afterlove and resistance is futile

The Irish Times
Tony Clayton-Lea
March 23, 2017

Mocking whipping boys is grist to the mill for many people, and not just for those critics who take aim with an arsenal of cynical condemnation, let loose, and then sit back to be high-fived on social media by their mates.

The truth is something more prosaic. Guilty pleasures notwithstanding, we listen to more Ed Sheeran and James Blunt than we perhaps care to admit. Part of this is involuntary, of course – those darned radio playlisters just won’t take the hint, but what about the naysayers that ridicule the likes of Sheeran and Blunt based purely on what they read and not what they know?

Liking or disliking the music is fair enough, but opinions based on supposition, not facts? We all know where that leads.

There’s more grist to that extremely busy mill on The Afterlove. Blunt’s fifth album sees him advance the reach of cowriting to significant, if not ridiculous lengths. Using the services of nearly 20 cowriters (including Sheeran, Ryan Tedder, Amy Wadge, Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid and Adonis Shropshire) across 10 songs, the all-too inevitable impression is that the former British army officer is taking no chances in covering as many stylistic bases as possible.

This strategic approach works fitfully, with the superior songs benefitting from self-referential lyrics that at least prove Blunt has a sense of humour (something his 1.3 million Twitter followers know only too well).

Yet Blunt is too often defined by a persona that has so far failed to counteract the creative equivalent of dad-dancing; his songwriting, too, often smacks of artificiality. This is why the likes of Lose My Number, California, Time of Our Lives, Heartbeat and Paradise have all the charm of an oil slick.

When Blunt and his writing committee get it right, though, the earworms wriggle in: Love Me Better, Bartender, Someone Singing Along and Make Me Better will be unavoidable for the next few months. Advice? Stop sneering and get used to it.

Post #282198
Posted 23 March 2017 20:58


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https://www.pressreader.com/switzerland/le-matin/20170319/281500751068011

Un nouvel album au son luxueux
Le Matin (Switzerland)
19 Mars 2017

«The Afterlove», James Blunt (Warner)

Jusqu’à aujourd’hui, les chansons de James Blunt semblaient tout juste sorties de sa guitare acoustique. Elles étaient pour la plupart légèrement polies avant d’être publiées et nous les écoutions avec, souvent, le sentiment d’être dans la même pièce que les musiciens. C’est en cela que ce cinquième album surprend. Plusieurs de ces dix nouvelles chansons sont habillées de façon à peine moins luxueuse qu’un hit de Justin Timberlake ou de One Republic (dont le chanteur participe justement à cet album). Les fans de la première heure se retrouveront autour d’une poignée de ballades relativement dépouillées et les plus anglophones écouteront ces nouvelles histoires de couples qui flirtent, s’aiment, se séparent ou se félicitent des années de vie commune. Mais pour l’essentiel, James Blunt choisit de moderniser radicalement sa palette sonore sans rien sacrifier de ses dons de compositeur. Comme un alpiniste chevronné qui, lassé d’emprunter toujours le même versant, choisirait un autre chemin, une voie rapide vers le sommet.

~~~

Many thanks to Prunilla for the English translation.

Up until now, James Blunt’s songs always sounded like they were coming straight from his acoustic guitar. They were for most slightly polished before they were published and we’d often listen to them with the feeling we were in the room with the musicians. The 5th album is very different in that a lot of these 10 new songs are barely less luxurious than a hit by Justin Timberlake or One Republic (the lead singer of which band is taking an active part in this album). The first-ever fans will find a couple of croony songs, relatively raw and English speaking fans will listen to these stories of couples flirting, loving each other, splitting up or enjoying years of living together. James Blunt chose to radically modernize his palette of sound without sacrificing in any way his gift as a composer. He is like an experienced mountain climber: when he’s tired with using one path, he’ll go another way, a faster way to the top.

Post #282229
Posted 24 March 2017 02:05


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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-4344500/James-Blunt-sharpens-Ed-Sheeran-s-help.html

James Blunt sharpens up... with Ed Sheeran's help: Fifth album The Afterlove is a surprising revamp

Daily Mail
By Adrian Thrills
24 March 2017

James Blunt: The Afterlove. Verdict: Surprising revamp
Rating: 4 stars/5

James Blunt heralded the arrival of his fifth album in January by tweeting: ‘Be afraid . . . be very afraid.’

It was a typically self-deprecating aside from a singer who, despite huge success, has grown accustomed to public scorn. His 2004 hit You’re Beautiful topped the charts, but was still voted the most irritating song ever in an online poll, beating Crazy Frog and Mr Blobby.

But Blunt has a healthy sense of perspective. Having seen active service as an Army reconnaissance officer in Kosovo, he has never been fazed by the barbs of internet trolls, usually turning their sneers to his advantage.

He’s at it again on The Afterlove, using humour to disarm his critics. ‘People say the meanest things,’ he sings on opening track Love Me Better, addressing the insults that have been hurled his way.

He admits some of the flak might have been deserved before delivering the punchline: ‘Saw you standing outside a bar / Would’ve said “you’re beautiful”, but I’ve used that line before.’ The song sets an engaging tone for an album of forthright, modern pop.

Encouraged to be more spontaneous in the studio by his friend Ed Sheeran, a key collaborator here, Blunt has updated his approach, augmenting the soft rock stylings of 2013’s Moon Landing with on-point digital bleeps and beats.

Love Me Better, written with OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, is glitchy and hypnotic. The stripped-back Bartender blends electronic rhythms and Sheeran’s acoustic strumming. Blunt’s fragile falsetto, derided by his detractors, is enhanced by subtle, electronic tweaks, including auto-tune on Lose My Number and multi-tracking on Don’t Give Me Those Eyes.

His songs have also grown more nuanced. Blunt, 43, married lawyer Sofia Wellesley in 2014 and is now proud father to a son, giving him a fresh angle on his playboy past. Don’t Give Me Those Eyes, dominated by Bee Gees-style harmonies, is a vivid power-ballad about resisting temptation.

California examines the transience of one-night stands and the shallow nature of life amid ‘the sun-kissed in-crowd’.

As he did on 2004’s No Bravery, inspired by his experiences on the front line in the Balkans, he looks at the world outside his window.

Someone Singing Along is a catchy protest song that evolves into a plea for social harmony: ‘Just ’cause some people don’t think like me / Does that really make them the enemy?’ But the overall mood is upbeat, particularly towards the end of a record that sometimes threatens to turn into the Ed Sheeran show.

Make Me Better, with the ubiquitous Ed on percussion, guitar, Mellotron and backing vocals, is a moving love song about marriage and fatherhood, while Time Of Our Lives, another Sheeran co-write, addresses the doubts of a fiancee’s parents over their daughter’s relationship.

Closing track Paradise, written and sung with Sheeran’s songwriting sidekick Amy Wadge, bestows a slow-burning euphoric finale.

‘This record might be one that only I love,’ says Blunt, self-effacingly playing down expectations. But, with everything Ed Sheeran touches currently turning to pop gold, that’s highly unlikely.

The Afterlove is out today. James Blunt starts a tour of the UK and Ireland at Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham, on November 17 (alttickets.com).

Post #282245
Posted 24 March 2017 02:53


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http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/times2/pop-james-blunt-the-afterlove-lxqjkq7jf

ALBUM REVIEW
Pop: James Blunt: The Afterlove
Will Hodgkinson
March 24 2017
The Times

2 stars/5

Every pop star has a unique selling point. Mick Jagger has his lips. Madonna has her sexual provocation. Ed Sheeran has the ability to be a real-life Ron Weasley. James Blunt, still a huge star 13 years after hitting it big with You’re Beautiful, has what might prove to be the most enduring selling point of all: being bad.

It is not as if Blunt hasn’t embraced his status. “If you thought 2016 was bad — I’m releasing an album in 2017,” he wrote, in one of his famously self-mocking tweets. “I never liked the sound of my own voice. Until it made me rich,” was another corker.

Perhaps owing to his earlier career as a tank captain in Kosovo, Blunt understands better than most pop stars that it is only music, nobody dies from a bad review, and if you are going to make it big with vapid singer-songwriter pop, you may as well have a sense of humour about it.

He is certainly not changing the habit of a financially rewarding lifetime on The Afterlove. Instead he has made a wilfully derivative album that embraces all the trends — Sheeran-like confessional pop, R&B, tropical house — that have dominated mainstream music over the past two years. While admiring his pragmatism and lack of preciousness, I have to wonder if Blunt has such lack of respect for his artistry that he will go along with whatever the producers and songwriters he is working with tell him to do, just for the sake of shifting units.

Love Me Better is a case in point. Co-written and produced by Ryan Tedder, who has penned hits for Adele, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, its lyrics are self-reflective to the point of parody. “Saw you standing outside a bar. Would have said you’re beautiful, but I’ve used that line before,” he sings, against the kind of sparse, hollow production you’ll find on Rihanna and Justin Bieber albums. There is even a “drop”; the technique, common in dance music, but not previously found on Blunt records, where the rhythm falls away before coming back bigger than before. It’s hard to imagine Blunt having much to do with any of this.

On Bartender the singer takes on the role of a bartender watching couples getting drunk when an old flame walks in. It’s a long way from Billy Joel’s similarly themed Piano Man. And Blunt, now a happily married man of 43, seems too old to be singing about a one-night stand against a tropical house beat on Lose My Number. He is on safer ground with Make Me Better, a song co-written with Sheeran on which he goes for the lightweight and sentimental, but pleasantly gentle love balladry he made his name with, and for once he sounds sincere, perhaps because it’s a tribute to his wife.

Then, buried towards the end of the album, is a bona fide, very good song. On Heartbeat Blunt laments past romantic choices over a wonderfully maudlin melody, which suggests that a heartfelt songwriter with something to say lies buried underneath the self-mocking exterior. For so much of The Afterlove, though, you cannot help but suspect Blunt took the path of least resistance. You can imagine him listening to it in 20 years’ time and thinking: “Did I really make that?” (Atlantic)

Post #282248
Posted 24 March 2017 03:17


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https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/mar/23/james-blunt-the-afterlove-review

James Blunt: The Afterlove review – slightly desperate and actively risible

The Guardian 23/03/2017
By Rachel Aroesti
2 stars/5

Since reinventing himself as a Twitter banter lord a few years ago, James Blunt has proved he can do more than just mewl about pretty women and give cockney rhyming slang a new lease of life. But can he carry the genuinely entertaining Blunt 2.0 over into his songcraft? Will he even try? Judging by the album’s opening seconds, in which he moans humourlessly that “people say the meanest things” through a mouthful of whistling sibilance, the answer would seem to be: not in the slightest. And while the lyrics may be banal and inoffensive – bar a few moments of pause-and-rewind strangeness including references to “modern friends” and “beautiful” mothers (not his) – the music is actively risible, with Blunt having adopted a watered-down version of Justin Bieber’s asinine tropical house. It smacks of a desire to edge on to Radio 1 playlists and into student nights incognito, but only serves to highlight how irritating the sound has become. Perhaps, with his slightly desperate iteration, Blunt will help put this particular musical trend out of its misery.

Post #282249
Posted 24 March 2017 03:48


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http://stack.net.au/music/review-james-blunt-afterlove/

Review: James Blunt, ‘The Afterlove’
Stack (Australia), 24/03/2017
Written by Jake Cleland

The ubiquity of You’re Beautiful may have turned James Blunt into a cheap punchline in the midaughts, but like the creators of Mmmbop still selling out venues seven albums later, Blunt remains undeterred.

Four albums in, Blunt’s balladry lies somewhere between The Chainsmokers and fun., leading to a varied record that hits all of contemporary pop’s high notes: singalong anthems (Bartender), tropical house (Lose My Number), Kavinsky-ish synthwave (California), and more traditional fingerpicking softness (Time Of Our Lives). The Afterlove might not break the avant-garde, but it proves that James Blunt is a polished student of pop, and is much more than just one song.

Post #282252
Posted 24 March 2017 07:44
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Hi,

Just listening to the new album the afterlove.

Some great songs on t.

Love it.
Post #282255
Posted 24 March 2017 11:36


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Am in heaven.

Listening to a certain new album - FANTASTIC.

My day is sorted

Thank you so much James - I think this will do very very well
Post #282258
Posted 24 March 2017 17:07


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Gutted - my pre-ordered cd hasn't arrived - anyone else having trouble? Have emailed but no response....
Post #282274
Posted 24 March 2017 18:09
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Great album, great songs! I couldn't wait till my signed CD will arrive, hear it over and over again on Spotify.
Courtney's Song - so touching.
Post #282276
Posted 24 March 2017 18:16


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'AllMusic' reviewer just tweeted this.

https://twitter.com/NeilZYeung/status/845330473505210368

NZY‏ @NeilZYeung
Thank god @JamesBlunt's #TheAfterlove was a great 4🌟. Stressed about his twitter wrath all week. My #allmusic review

http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-afterlove-mw0003016392

AllMusic Review by Neil Z. Yeung
4 stars/5

On his fifth full-length, The Afterlove, British singer James Blunt makes a risky shift in his sensitive-guy-with-a-guitar sound, opting for a taut collection that tugs at the heartstrings with polished pop sheen. The slight departure seems to be a conscious decision, as the confidently self-aware Blunt sings that he "would have said 'you're beautiful'/but I used that line before," referencing his inescapable 2005 smash single. Recruiting OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder and Ed Sheeran on production, writing, and occasional backing vocals (the trio even joins forces on the pastoral "Time of Our Lives"), Blunt presents his most mainstream offering yet. Indeed, at certain points, his trademark wounded falsetto drifts into Adam Levine territory, turning songs like the soaring "Bartender," the pulsing "California," and the shimmering "Lose My Number" into the best Maroon 5 songs released in 2017. For longtime fans, these changes might be jarring. Even peppier tracks from the Mumford-esque Moon Landing -- take "Heart to Heart" for example -- had the distinct feeling that a band was at least somewhere in the vicinity during the recording sessions. And yet, Afterlove is not Blunt selling his soul to the pop gods. Standout "Don't Give Me Those Eyes" is Blunt's dramatic soft rock at its moving best, riding a pensive piano and orchestra to great emotional effect. The Sheeran-produced "Make Me Better" is genuine and sweet, while "Heartbeat" swells with urgency and drama. Earnest toe-tapper "Someone Singing Along" combines his past and present sounds with his affable personality most seamlessly, weaving guitar twang with a thumping heart as Blunt sings "even if some notes are wrong/I'm hoping someone's singing along/'cause just one voice is not enough/I need to hear from everyone/and even when I'm dead and gone/I'm hoping someone's singing along." Even though he's calling for empathy and strength, his own dreams of the music outliving the man seep through the finer points of the big message. Although he's pretty much guaranteed that legacy with "You're Beautiful," Afterlove is a brave bid for contemporary relevance in 2017, a wonderful step outside his comfort zone that is more memorable and exciting than much of his output this decade.

Post #282277
Posted 24 March 2017 18:24


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Tut tut Warner Music!! You sent me an unsigned The Afterlove when I ordered a signed one!!! What a con!!! They took my money on the day it went on pre order. They shouldn't post out goods that haven't been ordered. Now it will cost over £6 to return it!! What a con!!!!! I'm not feelin The Afterlove anyway and now this is insulting !
Post #282278
Posted 24 March 2017 18:57
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Hey Nicki! If you are looking for someone else who didn't get their pre-ordered album, than here I am!
I didn't bother to email them though, it's not our first time that we pre-ordered here and had to be patient! We got a confirmation email to say our item was send on Tuesday so at least this time we dare to think it will get here in the end! Just annoying that you order something almost two months up front and find the album in the shops before you receive your pre-order!
Ah well, we were looking forward to the release date but looks like we will have to wait at least until Monday before we get to listen to the new songs! Well that is if it gets here on Monday, who knows...

Oh no TK, sorry to hear something went wrong with your order! Pfff I would not be happy having to pay to return a wrong item either! Perhaps you should start chasing down James yourself and have him autograph it, that way it might be done earlier than when you wait for Warner to fix their mistake!
Post #282279
Posted 24 March 2017 19:08


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Damn con that is TK! sorry to hear that!

I'll be having words with JB!
Post #282280
Posted 24 March 2017 19:30


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TK - not trying to be funny Have you actually opened the album? I thought mine was unsigned at first but there was a signed insert in the CD holder with the lyrics booklet.

I hope this is the case otherwise I am really really sorry that you haven't received a signed copy.
Post #282282
Posted 24 March 2017 20:28


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Not received mine either, not even an e mail saying it's been sent!!
Post #282285
Posted 24 March 2017 20:48


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Oh so sorry LD

I really hope it turns up tomorrow
Post #282288
Posted 24 March 2017 21:47


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Thank you Rebecca for the information. I have opened it but no signature anywhere unfortunately. I'm really glad that you had a lovely surprise when you opened your cd up. Xx
Post #282292
Posted 24 March 2017 21:54


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So sorry TK
Post #282294
Posted 24 March 2017 22:18


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Listern to the album and herd a few songs its sounds wonderful raw hopeful and sad know I understand why its called the afterlove. Goodluck well done.
Post #282295
Posted 25 March 2017 01:28


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https://www.ft.com/content/08c630f0-0f68-11e7-a88c-50ba212dce4d

Financial Times
By Ludovic Hunter-Tilney
24 March 2017

James Blunt: The Afterlove — ‘carefully structured’
3 stars/5

The songs have appealing melodies, on-trend chart-pop production and A-list collaborators

Judging by its recurrent theme of infidelity, The Afterlove must refer to the sound of a slamming front door as a jaunty blade departs the scene of his latest conquest.

“Love Me Better” finds James Blunt admitting to having “a wandering eye” while smooth dance-pop of the butter-won’t-melt variety churns creamily around him. In “Lose My Number” he turns victim, trailing after a woman who is giving him the run-around. “I didn’t mean to stalk you,” the singer implores in his fluting high voice over synthesised percussion that itself has a touch of the stalker about it, shadowing his friend Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”. “Don’t Give Me Those Eyes” finds the former cavalry officer back in the proverbial saddle, engaged in a secret assignation in a Las Vegas hotel room with a woman with irresistible eyes.

Monogamists will throw their hands up in despair, as will Blunt’s legions of detractors. But The Afterlove turns out to be a carefully structured farewell to the playboy life, concluding with “Paradise”, a church organ-set ode to matrimony. Appealing melodies, on-trend production and A-list collaborators (including Sheeran) attest to Blunt’s musical staying power, as do the sly nods to his 2004 hit “You’re Beautiful” book-ending the album.

Post #282299
Posted 26 March 2017 20:48


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I wouldn't be surprised to see Ed Sheeran becoming the next target and being served a similar treatment as JB has endured since 2006. Time will tell.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/mar/26/james-blunt-the-afterlove-review

James Blunt: The Afterlove review – likable isn’t listenable

The Guardian - The Observer
Emily Mackay
26 March 2017
2 stars/5

I’ve been called a dick/ I’ve been called so many things,” sings go-to musical punchline James Blunt in the opening lines of his fifth album, on which he twice makes reference to his 2004 millstone megahit You’re Beautiful. He’s made a lot of capital recently out of this self-aware sense of humour, mainly via self-deprecating Twitter quips. But likable isn’t listenable , and it’s hard to stomach the everyman shtick from an Old Harrovian multimillionaire with a ski lift named after him in the Swiss Alps, especially as he croons “some people keeping all the cash” on the perkily trite, why-can’t-we-all-just-get-on strummer Someone Singing Along. That aside, a chart-friendly tropical dance-pop production boosts Ibiza resident Blunt’s querulous, tremulous balladry with a fresh Chris De Burgh-hits-Cafe Del Mar energy on Paradise, Bartender and California, but it’s bland business as usual on soppy numbers such as Make Me Better (co-written with Ed Sheeran) and Time of Our Lives.

Post #282346
Posted 27 March 2017 15:23


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(head shake) the Guardian, taking words out of context and grasping for any negative spin. tsk tsk ... makes me doubt their integrity.

Post #282366
Posted 28 March 2017 22:04


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Thank you Arc!! Your absolutely right there . I hope your pre order arrives very soon, its such a shame when things dont go smoothly! We wait two years for the release date and then its one mistake after another
Post #282408
Posted 29 March 2017 03:35


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http://www.immortalreviews.com/home/2017/3/24/james-blunts-the-afterlove-is-full-of-good-rip-offs

Dylan Yadav
Immortal Reviews
March 24, 2017

When will we exhaust music? It's something odd to think about, as so many new and different songs come out every day. At some point, however, we will end up running out of combinations and possibilities. We haven't reached that point yet by any means, but we still find cases where other artists' songs seem to be exactly the same as another's.

That's what you'll be thinking a lot while you listen to James Blunt's new album. The Afterlove is full of rip-offs, though some of them of prove to have some quality. The album is more or less begun with a series of ripoffs - 'Bartender' is essentially a Jon Bellion song with its happy melody and very poppy instrumental. If the percussion were grander, it could've legitimately been a cover. The song is followed by 'Lose My Number,' which is a less agreeable version of Ed Sheeran's 'Shape Of You.'

It doesn't end there; in fact, it's pretty much the entire album that feels like one big steal. There are plenty of moments that really stand out as good, though. The reality is that very few tracks are brought down by the fact they sound very similar to others, it's just an observation that makes you scratch your head. 'Courtney's Song' is a fantastic song, atmospheric and pretty. It's also Zayn's 'Pillowtalk.' I can't even put my finger on what 'Don't Give Me Those Eyes' rips off (it's on the tip of my tongue) but I can't help but to fall for the great melody and pleading tone of the song.

This album does have highs and lows, though. After a lot of the aforementioned tracks, some lesser songs that don't really sound as infectious as the others. There's a stretch in the middle of the record that really breaks down the flow of the album. It starts with 'California,' where the album's very generous use of autotune starts becoming a detriment. 'Make Me Better' is much the same, and it's the autotuned version of Paramore's 'The Only Exception.' It's pretty sad to hear these songs because right after this short string comes the creepy and unique 'Heartbeat' that rings with a very haunting melody.

James Blunt's The Afterlove is full of good rip-offs, but don't let that distract you from what that means for the quality. It's a solid record full of decent tracks, both good and bad moments, but it does feel like it largely lacks a sense of uniqueness. You can't bar it as a bad album, but you can't mark it up as a great one all the same.

Favorite Tracks: Heartbeat, Don't Give Me Those eyes, Courtney's Song
Least Favorite Tracks: California, Make Me Better, Time Of Our Lives
Rating: 69 / 100

Post #282421
Posted 29 March 2017 22:59


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http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/jesus-mary-chain-raekwon-james-blunt-music-reviews/story?id=46432233#3

ABC News (New York, USA)
By ALLAN RAIBLE (@allanraible)
29/03/2017

James Blunt’s "The Afterlove" ***

James Blunt needs another hit the size of "Beautiful." He needs another big, international success. That polarizing, semi-stalker-y anthem propelled him to stardom and still follows him around. On his first album in three years, "The Afterlove," he actually seems to be embracing his current status.

On the opener, "Love Me Better," he sings "I saw you standing outside a bar. / Would’ve said ‘You’re Beautiful,’ but I’ve used that line before,” essentially tackling the elephant in the room head-on a mere 40 seconds into the album. While on "Lose My Number," he’s playing the role of a jealous person asking "Did You Lose My Number?," spelling out an obsession over a musical backdrop that sounds like the offspring of Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" and the Gotye and Kimbra hit "Somebody That I Used to Know."

The Sheeran comparison seems especially apt. Not only does Sheeran contribute as one of the many famous co-writers and guests on this album, but often times Blunt comes off like an older, wiser answer to Sheeran, only without the embarrassing, groan-inducing forays into hip-hop. Yes, he’s got an unusual voice, but his high, occasionally raspy vocal tone is quite distinctive and versatile. In fact, one could say that he's covering the more mature end of Sheeran's audience, but he's more consistent than Sheeran as well.

The torrid hotel-room affair with a married woman that is described on "Don’t Give Me Those Eyes," gets a musical backdrop that sounds like a 21st century answer to Air Supply, while "Bartender" sounds like a polished pop hit waiting to happen. The slightly too shiny "California" also sounds catered to modern pop radio.

This is a targeted attempt to get Blunt back on top, especially when you see Ryan Tedder in the various production credits.

This is merely a good offering. It's not a record that will change the world, but Blunt proves himself to be worthy. You actually end up feeling sorry for him when you hear the song "2005," which is actually about the success of "Beautiful" and how he loves and hates that song simultaneously. Sometimes monster hits don't do their authors any favors. It's safe to say that James Blunt deserves another chance and another shot at the big time.

Focus Tracks:

"Bartender" This sounds like his key to another monster hit, especially with its relatable sentiments, observational lyrics and party-style atmosphere. It also has a pretty winning guitar-riff.

"2005" A hit song can be a double-edged sword. He sings, "All I do is apologize for a song I wrote in 2005."

"Lose My Number" This is an unsettling but strong slice of pop. Again, it aims him firmly in pop radio's sights.

Post #282440
Posted 30 March 2017 04:52


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http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/james-blunt-review-afterlove-takes-hearty-risks-traditional-ballads-keep-identity-intact-1613458

James Blunt review: The Afterlove takes hearty risks but traditional ballads keep identity intact

After a four-year break, Blunt returns with a younger and more experimental sound.

International Business Times
By Alicia Adejobi
March 24, 2017

3 stars/5

In case you were wondering why James Blunt was suddenly back in the spotlight, the British crooner has released a new album today (24 March). The Afterlove comes almost four years after Blunt's fourth studio album, Moon Landing, and marks a surprising new trajectory in the singer's sound.

Best known for heart-wrenching ballads like You're Beautiful and Goodbye My Lover, Blunt garnered a fan base through his warbling tales of love, romantic woes and everything in between. Catering to such a specific audience is the reason the 43-year-old is nervous about The Afterlove's reception. Blunt said: "I'm s******g myself. I just don't know how this album is going to be received. All I know is that I love it, and it might be something that only I love, but I genuinely think this is one of my most exciting albums."

So, is The Afterlove just as bold and exciting as Blunt proclaims it to be?

In 2001, James Blunt spent five weeks at number one with the ubiquitous guitar-led ballad You're Beautiful while topping the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, propelling his profile worldwide. The emotional number set the precedent for Blunt's sound for the next decade or so, with follow-up singles all bearing the same blueprint of tugging at the heart strings.

Most can probably imagine what a James Blunt album would sound like but The Afterlove attempts to avoid this trapping. Pop has undoubtedly changed in the last four years with the charts dominated mostly by EDM and hip hop – established artists like Blunt who rose to prominence in the early noughties are in danger of sounding dated.

With this in mind, Blunt has returned with his most experimental album yet. Leading with a sense of familiarity in tone, The Afterlove opens with the minimalistic Love Me Better, which immediately updates Blunt's trademark sound. While it is a generally pleasing track, Love Me Better fails to capitalise on its potential making for a one-dimensional lead single.

Swooping in to lift the mood is Bartender, a cheeky love letter boasting a warm and folksy Irish jingle somewhat reminiscent of Ed Sheeran's Galway Girl. Speaking of Sheeran, the edgy Lose My Number could be fittingly described as the Shape Of You of The Afterlove. Its dark and moody club sound is courtesy of OneRepublic frontman and prolific pop songwriter Ryan Tedder, who works his hitmaking magic on the number.

It displays a more youthful side of Blunt and certainly has commercial appeal, as does the Amy Wadge co-written Paradise, albeit slightly more intense and brooding. However for all Blunt's attempts at meatier sounds, the crooner does not forego his identity with a slew of big numbers. Don't Give Me Those Eyes stands out as the big ballad of The Afterlove and shows Blunt at his most vulnerable. Revealing the complications of an illicit affair with a married woman, Blunt croons: "Staring at you naked, hotel room in Vegas/I love you but I hate it, and we can't tell anyone."

Also offering some depth is Make Me Better, which bears much heart thanks to the vivid songwriting talents of Sheeran and Snow Patrol's Johnny McDaid. It is a relatable ballad with lyrics like: "You are everything I have never been/I want you to make me better/And I've been wondering why you let me in/I want you to make me better." California treads a similar path – while it may sound like a romantic ode to the state he lives in part-time, the number actually depicts a twisted relationship that still manages to keep Blunt in its grips.

The Afterlove will please longtime James Blunt fans but his modernised direction is unlikely to attract new listeners. Blunt does make a strong effort to step out of his comfort zone with cooler cuts but perhaps big ballads and emotional storytelling is where he thrives best.

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