Review: Jack Foley
WHEN James Blunt sings 'I have seen peace, I have seen pain...'
and later 'I have seen birth, I have seen death', during the heartfelt
ballad, Cry, you'd better believe it.
The talented new singer-songwriter is speaking from personal
experience, having lived one of the most extraordinary lives of
A former soldier, his Army career saw him stationed in Kosovo
as part of NATO’s peacekeeping force, before he then spent
time protecting the Queen on horseback and the Queen Mother, while
she lay in state.
Yet, music remained his passion and he never gave up on the dream
of one day becoming a fully fledged artist.
Hence, a week after leaving the Army, James had secured himself
a manager, and three weeks later, a publishing deal was inked
and he soon began courting the attention of Linda Perry.
The rest, as they say, is history, for Blunt has now delivered
a breathtaking debut album which smacks of the personal experiences
- both tragic and uplifting - that have shaped his life to date.
Cry, especially, is a deeply personal track that contains
as strong an emotional resonance as you are likely to hear this
Yet it is indicative of the quality of the tracks throughout
most of the rest of the long-player.
Current single, High, for instance, talks of an all-consuming,
passionate love and beautiful dawns, painting beautiful images
of both, and delivered in the unmistakeable vocal style that we're
sure to hear a lot more of in the future.
It is quickly followed by the equally beautiful You're Beautiful,
a breezy piece of shimmering acoustic brilliance which takes the
listener on a heartbreaking journey through an unattainable romance,
complete with a memorable guitar riff.
Strong melodies permeate throughout Wisemen, which includes
a genuinely catchy chorus, while the hammond organ gets a workout
in Tears and Rain, another track which stretches the
delightful Blunt voice.
And the strong emotional core is also painfully exposed in the
piano-based heart-breaker, Goodbye My Lover, which resonates
with the pain and confusion of a failed relationship.
It's little surprise to find that Back to Bedlam was
recorded in Los Angeles with the help of super-producer, Tom Rothrock
(who has worked with Beck, Elliott Smith, Badly Drawn Boy), for
this contains much of the songwriting pedigree of all three of
It is a masterful debut and one which you mustn't allow to pass