James Blunt, the British pop star known for the hits "You're Beautiful" and "1973" will be releasing his fourth studio album on November 5th. Entitled Moon Landing, the album will feature collaborations with Grammy-winning songwriter Ryan Tedder (Adele, Carrie Underwood, Gavin DeGraw) and production assist from Martin Terefe (Jason Mraz, KT Tunstall).
This week, Blunt's label released "Bonfire Heart" - the disc's first single and video. Fans of Blunt will immediately take to this lighthearted, anthemic love song, whose infectious melody and strong hook give the tune the potential to be the "comeback" single of the year. Last October, Blunt was the victim of a public relations nightmare when a facetious quote in London's Daily Mail left the impression he was quitting the music business - he later took to Facebook to set the story straight, confirming he was hard at work writing new songs.
And if "Bonfire Heart" is any indication, Blunt's songwriting has matured ten-fold since he channeled Rod Stewart on the sunny AM-pop of Back To Bedlam's "You're Beautiful." It's been a solid two years since Blunt's last release, the ambitious-but-flawed Some Kind Of Trouble, where I opined that Blunt's trouble might be finding the right producer to accentuate his individual style. To Terefe's credit, "Bonfire Heart" does seem to occupy the best of all possible worlds - the vocal approach is certainly signature Blunt, imbued with sonic trappings commercially exploited by the likes of Tunstall and Mumford and Sons.
Look for my review of Moon Landing to touch down on these pages upon it's release.