ALBUM REVIEW: James Blunt – Once Upon A Mind

I didn’t really think that the day would come that I would say that James Blunt released a better album than Kanye West, but it has. Both respective artists have released their new records on the same day, and one was severely over hyped and the other has flown completely under the radar. But upon listening to them both, one stands out more than the other, and it may surprise you. 

‘Once Upon A Mind’ is Jame Blunt’s sixth studio album, and after flirting with synths on ‘The Afterlove’, he’s returned to his roots and delivered a indie-pop record full of heart and honesty. In retrospect, this record creates the same sort of impact that ‘Same Kind Of Trouble’ made, when he tried to re-create the success of ‘Back To Bedlam’. It’s strong and enjoyable, but it’s still not as good as his debut effort, and that’s okay. 

Opening with the polished folk-pop track ‘The Truth’ he reproaches his roots and creates a commercialised sound that has seen ‘Cold’ warmly embraced on radio. Adding in a bit of electronic influences, ‘5 Miles’ is a song that also has a lot of potential within the current musical climate. But if you step outside the “in-trends”, there are some genuinely impressive songs that could actually bring Bunt back into the spotlight even more. 

‘Halfway’ is a standout track that reflects on needing to be “all in” with love and it’s a simply beautiful and honest track that will have you swaying along immediately. “Cause it’s there or it’s not, it’s heartbreak of it’s love. There’s no such thing as halfway” he sings during the catchy hook. 

‘Champions’ is a track that is reminiscent to imagine Dragons recent material and could easily be a hit on radio while ‘Youngster’ is packed with attitude and hears him confessing that there are new kids that he is competing against like Lewis Capaldi and Ed Sheeran, but he’s learnt that he just needs to be himself. 

Throughout the record there are some really strong singalong moments that will add some new highlights to his mostly greatest hits themed show, but there are a couple songs like ’Monsters’, ‘Stop the Clock’ and ‘The Greatest’ which are a little lacklustre at best. But theres a lot more interesting tracks on here than Kanye West’s new record, so that’s a win. 

Must Listens: ‘Halfway’, ‘Champions’ and ‘Youngster’

Purchase a physical copy of ‘Once Upon A Mind’ from Sanity HERE; https://www.sanity.com.au/products/2434407/Once-Upon-A-Mind  

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