Single Review: James Blunt – ‘Dangerous’

“You can always predict the typical Blunt affair – and ‘Dangerous’ has all those predictable flavourings”

1 STAR

Digital Release: September 11, 2011

Physical Release: N/A

James Blunt often proposes a dilemma. It’s a dilemma that (unfortunately for him, fortunately for those with ears) sees his listeners lose much of the tolerance they had to exert way-back-when ‘You’re Beautiful’ first festered in the playlists of radio stations across the UK. Victim of the backlash of prejudice to much of his later music, the dilemma he presents is that the in itself music is pleasant enough, charm offensive, and yet mildly boring; perfect background music. Or at least, it would be if it wasn’t for his awfully tremulous whine and it’s subtle demand for attention. And when you’re as wet as James Blunt, sickeningly pleasant niceties are guaranteed, but nothing in his job description says anything about much else. You can always predict the typical Blunt affair – and ‘Dangerous’ has all those predictable flavourings, so those who haven’t bought his recent fourth album and aren’t afraid of killing a few brain-cells while listening to; cleaning the house to; or falling asleep to this horribly dull bore will at least find comfort in that thought, possibly.

‘Dangerous’ hardly merits it’s own name. The song, the instrumentation, it’s delivery, and the fiery femme fatale that appears to have caught more than just James’ attention feel as dangerous and seductive as the scramble of bad breath and walking canes for the best board games in an elderly people’s home. Anyone willing to say the lyrics “We’ve all got a taste for blood tonight”, while happily possessing the voice of a children’s TV character is frankly wasting their time, but more importantly, that of the listeners. There’s a mellow guitar chugging along and a few soft rock nods here and there but the song barely keeps it’s own head above the water. Perhaps most laughable is the electronic drum loop, which sounds akin to those times when watching a helpless technophobe learn to play computer Solitaire, under the impression that the ability to accomplish such a task on such a technologically advanced machine is something that merits praise.

His voice, as always, does it’s level best to irritate. Still sounding like a twelve year-old girl, Blunt’s wheeze can be relied on to go too high too often and lyrics like “She is dangerous/She is dangerous/I’m sure” (the opening to a pathetically understated chorus), leave one having to stifle fits of laughter not in amusement, but embarrassment – limited only by the duration each individual listener can withstand – rather than actually believing anything he’s saying. Of course, if you believe his squirming, saccharine nuisances held any kind of devilish flirtatiousness then you’d likely be the kind to describe a sudden lustful urge for sex as a pleasant excursion about a prostitute’s lingerie wardrobe.

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