Verdict: 2.5 / 5
I quite like James Blunt, I have to say that now. Yes, his voice is a little too high pitched sometimes; yes, he does seem a little too saccharine on occasion. But he does just seem like a nice guy, and his music, while alternating between quite good and just okay, is at the least heartwarming and good for radio or long drives. But, at the end of the day, “just okay” does seem to be the best description I can use for him. And Moon Landing didn’t exactly make me think otherwise.
When I saw “Bonfire Heart” on the TV, I started looking forward to this full album a lot. With a catchy, memorable flow and a beautiful music video exploring the heart of America, I was very pleased with how Blunt seemed to be heading on this one. However, what I got with the album was more of the same. Not especially worse, but Bonfire Heart does indeed seem to be the best on the album, which doesn’t exactly leave much space to move, really. The songs seem to blend into one another, and I barely remember when one ended and the next began. This isn’t a problem, as I enjoyed them, but I didn’t ever go “wow, I’m going to put this on a playlist!” If he had perhaps explored the American angle more fully, then I would have had different thoughts, but as it is there’s no concept, no overarching theme here, and all we’re left with is James Blunt doing James Blunt. Which isn’t a crime, but we already have three albums of that, we could do with a bit of expansion, a bit of exploration of something; of anything.
Blunt needs to stop playing it safe, before he becomes a parody of himself in later years, as may happen. He does some good love songs, and he does have a good pop and romantic tone. But step it up buddy, please. I want to like you even more.