James Blunt | All the Lost Souls (Atlantic)

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cd_blunt.jpgAll The Lost Souls further explores the consequences of time as related to fame, and the perceived importance of fame.







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The album's title implies so much more than one's initial reaction to it. All the Lost Souls is pure, infernal perfection. James Blunt builds the foundation for his sophomore album in candid messages. Intense lyrics thematically revolve around both the consequences of squandering time, and the perceived importance of fame. All the Lost Souls' messages are straightforward and bold, leaving little or no room for interpretation.

Blunt's infatuation with time is prevalent from "1973" to "I Can't Hear the Music." While speaking from experience in the sentiments of his own memories such as those captured in "1973," he articulates the by-product of nostalgia in the thought-evoking statement "Your journey's been etched on your skin." Likewise, Blunt's intuitive lyrics in "I'll Take Everything" offer eloquent advice that "forever is just a minute" and "all men die." He solemnly, poetically bemoans the sense of time as it slips away. The urgency of the message is complemented by the dramatic instrumentals that envelop Blunt's soft vocals. His expression of raw vulnerability is further lamented in "Same Mistake," as he admits to weaknesses, failures, and the passions of his past. The theme of time continues on throughout the album, fortified by Blunt's personal experiences. "Shine On" encourages the continuity and satisfaction of life despite the obstacle of those who are "all just slaves to the gods they've made." This potent message conveys the importance of time as it relates to love and passion. Blunt effectively concludes the album in "I Can't Hear the Music," which passionately advises to keep dancing even when the music can no longer be heard.

All The Lost Souls further explores the consequences of time as related to fame, and the perceived importance of fame. He narrates the agony of self destruction and discovery of self in "Carry You Home" and "Give Me Some Love." The distortions of fame are exposed in Blunt's callous admission of taking a "shitload of drugs" and being "tired of never fixing the pain." This sense of terseness continues to expose a jaded reality that success in fame is fickle and compromises must be made in order to achieve greatness. "Annie" projects this brutality in the preservation of fame: "Will you go down on me?" Perhaps most tragic is the tender strokes of the keys and guitars as Blunt's narrative of cycling through fame concludes in the loneliness of "standing all alone.../ So many faces but they look out for their own." The tragedy of fame, he forebodes, is that, "One day you'll hope to make the grave/ before the papers choose to send you there."

Blunt's passion for his music has a blatant stronghold over his infatuation with fame. A celebrity born into a common world, Blunt speaks from his heart about his experiences in life, the military, and love, and not just from a silver spoon-fed mouth. The messages of All the Lost Souls are easily interchangeable from one genre of humanity to the next. The album is a beautiful compilation in that the lessons of time and fame are not limited to the ordinary or the extraordinary; the album truly speaks to all the lost souls. A | Amanda Pelle

RIYL: Keane, Fleetwood Mac, Coldplay, Snow Patrol

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