James Blunt

Some Kind of Trouble

By Marc Hirsh
Globe Correspondent / January 18, 2011

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Anyone hoping that James Blunt has moved beyond the mawk and sap of his mega-successful debut and its inescapable mewls “You’re Beautiful’’ and “Goodbye My Lover’’ is bound to feel his or her heart drop within the first seconds of third album “Some Kind of Trouble.’’ From the plinky, high-tuned acoustic guitar to the mindlessly skippy rhythm to the “whoa-oh-oh-ooh’’ chant, there’s not a major element of “Stay the Night’’ that doesn’t sound exactly like “Hey, Soul Sister.’’ For some, that’s a selling point; for others, a warning siren. Blunt’s happy on those Train tracks: He pulls the same trick nine songs later (minus the whoas) on “I’ll Be Your Man.’’ (“So baby come over from the end of the sofa,’’ the romantic sings on that one, too lazy to move five feet on his own.) A few songs — midtempo anthem “So Far Gone,’’ quavery failed-romance ballad “Best Laid Plans’’ — fill up the earphones well enough but don’t bother pushing an inch deeper to engage the head. The supple chill out bass line of “Dangerous’’ suggests his most promising direction, but that only means that what Blunt does best, David Gray does better. (Out today)

ESSENTIAL “Dangerous’’