I bought a Sunday paper the weekend just gone, a rarity in itself these days, as I had the luxury of the time to sit and read it on the train back from York. Not being into music, and being a self-confessed ignoramus on the matter, I usually don't bother to read reviews of singles or albums, but I did happen to catch their review of the new James Blunt album. The digital version is here, should you wish to read a review as vituperative, venomous, angry and scathing as any they're ever likely to publish.
The passions that this bloke incite in people have always intrigued me. A mate who's into his music in the same way I am football is moved to visible fury just by talking about him. I suggested that he's just an inoffensive warbler, but that was what seemed to move my mate to such ire in the first place. Mr Blunt's very inoffensiveness was what so offended said friend. Apparently he, and others like him, would rather listen to a diabolical, assault-on-the-senses cacophany than any of James Blunt's efforts because at least they incite a visceral response, even if it's a negative one.
This idea baffles me. You could probably put Blunt's album on in the background and, unless you're of a similar mind to my muso mate, not even notice it's there. The same could not be said of loud, tuneless, cacophonous shite. This is probably one of the reasons I'm not really into music, I just can't see what can get somebody so cross about something because it doesn't offend you. I simply don't care if it's just musak, fit for the lift or as hold music. Let it go! You musical types out there are a funny lot.
I suspect that there are plenty of people out there who will buy this thing and I seriously doubt Blunt gives a toss what the IoS make of his album as the royalties come in, but it's most interesting to note the almost plaintively furious response of the critics like Simon Price, who seems almost personally affronted that he should put it out. Unlike many of the things that get me wound up (X-Factor being the main culprit, surely a more deserving candidate for such ferocious opprobrium from music professionals) it's not sufficiently ubiquitous as to be unavoidable, so just don't listen to it.
That said, the album cover is faintly irritating.