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James Blunt - You're Beautiful
Label: Atlantic Records
Release: 2005

Tracklisting:
You're Beautiful
The rest are irrelevant (and that's not a song title)
You
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Average Blamo User Rating: (54 votes)

I was more than a bit dismayed to hear on the radio recently the news that James Blunt has now been at number 1 in the British album and single charts simultaneously, for 5 weeks. Thanks for that, I was starting to wonder where my summer had gone. Upon hearing this news, I'm a different man; reinvigorated, determined, and ultimately called into action to address this sheer atrocity of a song. What we have on our hands here is a gigantic, sprawling mass of digital turd, crammed into the pop industry water mark of 3 minutes and 30 seconds (33 to be precise, which I suppose makes Mr. Blunt sound 'alternative'). The song has sparked mass online debate, debate being a generous word given that it was a unanimous agreement that the song is an unmitigated pile of shite.

So how do I go about dismantling it? Is such a feat possible? Where do I start? Indeed, I had to scribble some notes down before I started writing this review, it dawned on me that there was so much of the song that is worth bashing. Well, I suppose it's common in music reviews to begin slating the artist in question by listing who he/she shamelessly rips off. Considering James Blunt appears to have ripped off every pop ballad, good or bad, from the 1960's onwards, it would be a largely thankless task to list all of his 'inspirations', so I won't labour the point.

I suppose now is when I should get into the details of the song, although unfortunately this involves putting the song on in iTunes. I suppose on the face of it, this is a soothing song, although not in the way you or I regard 'soothing'. Rather it could said to be soothing in a way comparable to having Michael Jackson stroking your hair. Unlike other 'Worst Hit of 2005' hopefuls, it won't club you to death like the Crazy Frog, or drill a nail into your skull like Akon's less than superb, 'Mr. Lonely'. For me, this is Japanese water torture; it is gentle, but unspeakably infuriating, and completely inescapable.

He most likely came across his 'melodies' by nicking them from a primary school recorder class, the complexities of which are pissed on from a great height by something as rudimentary as the EastEnders theme tune. The song structure is your basic A-B-A-B-C-B, (A being the verse, B the chorus, and C the 'interlude'), which is probably just as well given what monstrosity he could have written had he known the other 23 letters of the alphabet. Anyway, Radiohead would be proud.

As for the lyrics, I simply have to quote Roger Ebert's review of Freddy Got Fingered (a film which I incidentally have a fondness for):

"This doesn't scrape the bottom of the barrel. This isn't the bottom of the barrel. This isn't below the bottom of the barrel. This doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels."

The first lines of 'You're Beautiful' are:

"My life is brilliant, my love is pure
I saw an angel, of that I'm sure,
she smiled at me on the subway,
she was with another man......."

Blah, blah, blah and other 'heartfelt' dog dirt. Oh yes, he's a poet, but we don't know it. Truly, as we speak Bob Dylan's boots must be overflowing with wee. James Blunt's lyrics seem to operate on such a completely different plane of reality, that coupled with his relaxing, pseudo 'muzak' website (http://www.jamesblunt.com/profile_biog.html), I begin to wonder whether I even belong in the same society as the devil-man who made them.

Being totally badass, he pointlessly sings, "she could see from my face that I was, fucking high" which is conveniently recorded differently as "flying high" for the imbeciles who watch daytime 'MTV Hits'. This reveals to me that James Blunt probably regards 'edginess' as not shaving in the morning.

If there is anything worse than the song, James Blunt or his over-exposure, it's the stupid fucking video. It appears to be a tribute to Sinead O'Connor's daft, 'Nothing Compares 2 U', albeit slightly more emotionally detached. Shot as one take, recorded faster, played slower to give that slo-mo, slurry effect to the miming. It features him first standing, then sitting in the rain, slowly taking off his clothes apart from his jeans, setting all his possessions and his tramp's shoes neatly in front of him, bizarrely as if in some sort of sacrifice, all whilst gazing into the camera. He then gets up and jumps into the sea. What a hopeless cunt.

This song is the worst of it's type I've heard since Enrique Iglesias's 'Hero'. The difference being that even Iglesias has as much talent in his big ugly mole as James Blunt has in his entire body. Inevitable comparisons of James Blunt to Damien Rice are pretty insulting. James Blunt is a very, very poor man's dog named Tramp's Damien Rice. They compare in sound, but no way in quality.

It fills me with unease when I consider that hundreds of love-struck couples are currently losing their virginity to this song. To think James Blunt must be selling out arenas and making millions is sickening. This guy doesn't belong in our arenas, surely he belongs in your local middle-aged divorcee's nightclub (mine being 'Club R' on Queens Parade, half of which is knocked down, completely flattened).

You may have been wondering why one song merits so much criticism, well the criticism is there to be made and whilst I do absolutely hate this song, I still hate it enough to care about hating it. Needless to say really, I've given the song a whopping zero.

A friend recently told me that James Blunt used to be in the army (which took me by surprise given that he could be taken away with a gust of wind) and served in Bosnia. With this information in mind, my advice to you Mr. Blunt is to re-enlist, get yourself posted out to Basra and when you feel lonely, hug a suicide-bomber and get blown to smithereens you complete and utter bastard.

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