Album Review: Once Upon A Mind

Updated: Oct 27, 2019

Photo: Gavin Bond

James Blunt returns to form on his most honest record to date.

The 'You're Beautiful' hitmaker interrupted his course to bring us 2017's 'The Afterlove' - which saw him experiment with tropical house and pen radio-friendly songs with pal Ed Sheeran - but on 'Once Upon A Mind' he's back to his roots, with soul-stirring cuts ('Monsters' is about his dying father) about life, love and loss.

There is still the odd nod to its predecessor though, with tracks like 'Youngster', which sounds like it should be an Ellie Goulding/Kygo number, and '5 Miles’, with its prominent tropical dance beat.

Blunt is at his best on stripped back 'Halfway' which echoes back to his acclaimed debut album, 'Back to Bedlam’.  'How It Feels To Be Alive' is very much in the vein of 2007's 'All The Lost Souls', with Blunt's signature piano and an urgency to his vocal.

His voice soars on closer, 'The Greatest' - which coincidentally sounds like it‘a straight off 'The Greatest Showman' soundtrack. The former soldier’s reflections of life, love and death are still as hauntingly captivating as they were in 2004.

Rating: 8/10

For Fans Of: Lewis Capaldi, Ellie Goulding, Coldplay

Release date: 25.10.19