10 December 2007

And though time goes by, I will always be, in a club with you in 1973…

Ok, so James Blunt wasn’t alive in 1973 (he was born in 1974) and if he had been I doubt he would have been clubbing, but that doesn’t mean he can’t write about that time. It’s called ‘artistic license’ and we’re all guilty of it. We all write about stuff we may know nothing about – hell – I write this music blog every week, don’t I? People actually read it too, not just my Aunt in Arkansas. But I digress……

To assume a sophomore album from an artist is going to suck is all wrong. If you think about all the songs that didn’t make their way on to the freshman debut than it makes sense that you would have a good starting point, right? While I have no idea what did or didn’t make it on to Back To Bedlam, certainly his second CD, All The Lost Souls, doesn’t suck. While it may lack a potentially overplayed, misunderstood, and misplaced wedding song (“You’re Beautiful” in case you weren’t paying attention last week), which I would think would be intentional on his part (can you blame him?) the CD does contain ten very catchy, slightly depressing, well written songs that make you think and feel your way around a dimly lit room.

I don’t’ think he can help it really. His voice is naturally predisposed to sounding pained and thusly each song he sings seeps a little bit of sadness from each lilting note. But I like it that way. I don’t want to hear him sing some happy horse-shit crap tune about how wonderful the world is (can you tell I don’t like musicals?). I want someone to express the pain and anguish that I can’t always put into words. If I want a “Silly Love Song” I know where to happily turn. I like James Blunt because of the heartache he puts into his songs and the discomfort that he expresses. In a music world filled with senseless one hit wonders, this guy is the real deal.

All if this, of course, is masked by his sweet melodies and retro production values which make me feel like I’m listening to an album from, say, 1973. It’s a cool thing, actually, about this CD – many of the sounds are very reminiscent of some classic 70’s artists like Firefall, Poco or Al Stewart. It’s a great balance between what’s happening now and what happened way back then. He does it well – it’s refreshing, his lyrics are honest and I truly love his voice both literally and figuratively.

My favourites from this collection of songs are “Same Mistake” (“I’m not calling for a second chance, I’m screaming at the top of my voice. Give me reason but don’t give me choice. ‘Cause I’ll just make the same mistake again.”), “Carry You Home” (“As strong as you were, tender you go. I’m watching you breathing for the last time. A song for your heart, but when it is quiet, I know what it means and I’ll carry you home. I’ll carry you home.”) and “Give Me Some Love” (“Why don’t you give me some love? I’ve taken ship-load of drugs. I’m so tired of never fixing the pain. Valium said to me, I’ll take you seriously, and we’ll comeback as someone else, who’s better than yourself.”). Though really, it’s hard to pick a favourite here – these are all really good works of art. If you’re a fan, you’ll like this one. If you aren’t – check out his first one, Back To Bedlam, than move on to this one. You’ll be glad for the journey. www.jamesblunt.com and www.myspace.com/jamesblunt

Ah…..Christmas Shopping in Los Angeles. Where else can you be shopping and see the ‘stars’ – it still trips me out – walking around The Grove last week I saw/smiled at Neil Patrick Harris and Martin Short. Then there’s the time we nearly ran over Keanu Reeves as he was crossing our path. Or this one time we walked by this chick who was all bundled up (I dismissed her as just another L.A. freak) and Abby turned to me and said it was Paris Hilton. Weird. Sometimes I can’t believe I live here. Even though I grew up down the road from David Letterman (he was always very nice to me), and used to see Paul Newman around, it still amazes me sometimes the people I’ve seen and met during my tenure in this place. I know - they’re just people too – some of them have been very nice (George Clooney, Annette Bening to name a few) and others, well, maybe they were having a bad day so I didn’t take it personally.

Either way – it can be cool to be here and I’m glad that for now I am. As wacky a place as this can be, and I don’t think I’ll ever understand how this place ‘works’, there are times when I’m happy to be here and grateful for the opportunities this place affords. Not just running into or meeting famous people, but having opportunities I wouldn’t have if I lived on a lake in Maine. That will happen one day – just not now.

So kids, The Holidays are nearing, and I’m not sure how inclined I am to do another blog before the New Year. I’m getting ready to head back East – reconnect with my peeps, get my feet on the ground, and hopefully play in some snow with my most adorable niece. In case I’m not back next week (you’ll have to check in to find out) I want to thank you all for your loyal readership this past year. It means a lot to me that this thing gets read by more than my family. I hope you’ve learned something along the way – discovered some music you may not have thought you’d like or learned something about life in Los Angeles that you never thought you’d know.

Either way – thank you for tuning in….Until next time…Happy Holidays!! & CHEERS!! To you – the New Year - and all the hope that comes with it! Nasdrovia!!!!

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