The guitar scored

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IMPRESSIVE DEBUT James Blunt's vocals support the soulful yet breezy overtones of the tracks
IMPRESSIVE DEBUT James Blunt's vocals support the soulful yet breezy overtones of the tracks

James Blunt chose the guitar over the gun in Kosovo and his debut album is a rage worldwide

His father defined the most impressive pieces of classical music as "unnecessary noise" and anybody in the family who remotely tried to hum or sing was glared at. Not a very auspicious start for James Blunt, whose ancestors were warriors, with a history of combat since 997 C.E. Blunt was all of 14 when he broke away from family tradition and bought himself a guitar. Music was the direction he took in his quest for an "interesting life." He was sent to the university to study aerospace manufacturing engineering and sociology, and as he spent most of his class hours on the back bench, dreaming of being a musical icon one day, he presumably was incapable of making airplanes. He was soon enrolled into the army, and found himself in Kosovo, having to choose between a gun on one hand and his guitar in the other. The guitar won over the gun, and Blunt went on a pub-hopping mission in Los Angeles, to understand what sort of music Americans listen to, and to unlearn his Brit accent. In September 2003, he was signed on to record with Hollywood music producer Tom Rothrock. His debut album happened two years later in October 2005, and the tracks from the album Back To Bedlam (EMI, CD, Rs. 395) are still doing their rounds in the international music charts. The album is an interesting mix of soulful rhythms set against the backdrop of contemporary pop accomplishments with a hint of techno. Blunt's vocals are impeccably smooth, and support the soulful, yet breezy overtones of the tracks. A feel-good vibe runs through most of the tracks, but at times, the songs speak of his inner darkness and emotions. The first single, "You're Beautiful", has an extremely positive energy running through it, and has an infectious tune which clings on to you, ensuring that you hum the song at the first hearing itself. Another track that stands out in the album is "Goodbye My Lover", which Blunt reputedly recorded in Carrie Fisher's (of Star Wars fame) bathroom, where she has a full-size piano installed. There is also a track called "So Long, Jimmy", which is meant to be a tribute to Jim Morrison and Jimmy Hendrix, which reminds of a retro Doors number. James Blunt is highly impressive in his debut album, and combines meaningful emotions with smooth-sounding vocals. A much needed change from the clutter created by hip-hop.A. VISHNU




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