The Plot Against James Blunt
It's never a good sign when a new artist's second album is... his first album. Yet that's just what James Blunt will bring to the masses next month when he re-releases "Back to Bedlam," packaged with a new live disc. Really, James? Giving up so soon? It took Alanis Morissette nine years to release "Jagged Little Pill Acoustic." She at least tried to convince us she hadn't peaked early.
And remember when Depeche Mode released "Song of Faith and Devotion: Live," and every song was just a retread of the studio album, played in the same order and in the same way? At the time, Depeche Mode frontman David Gahan was seriously messed up on drugs. That was his excuse. What's yours?
Of course, it's probably the decision of Blunt's label, Atlantic Records, to fling more Bedlam our way. After all, the story linked above reports that Blunt is writing new material, so he's likely disinterested in what's already behind him.
Record executives, however, surely have noticed that none of the follow-up singles to "You're Beautiful"--that ubiquitous ballad of the spring--have been successful. This first album sold 2.2 million, but all signs point to James Blunt being a one-hit wonder.
For Atlantic, milking a few more dollars out of people must seem like a good idea. Listeners won't realize they don't care about Blunt anymore until he's trying to deliver something new. Then he'll no doubt fall down the same pit that swallowed Jason Mraz. And will surely claim Daniel Powter, unless he writes another obnoxious song for "American Idol."
If my theory is remotely correct, it just continues to prove that the marketing team at Atlantic doesn't know how to make an artist cool. They've already hurt Blunt--in my opinion--by refusing to let Weird Al put his parody of "You're Beautiful" on his insanely popular new album.
(As a side note: This week, Al will probably have his first top ten hit with "White and Nerdy," a parody of Chamillionaire's "Ridin." In response, up will be replaced by down and cats will lie with dogs in connubial ecstasy.)
It's like Atlantic wants Blunt to come across as a humorless, repetitive square. Are they secretly working for Jack Johnson and trying to kill off the competition?
If so, what's next in Atlantic's sinsiter plan? Are they going to make Blunt write the score to Screech's sex tape?