James Blunt prefers to think of his enduring first hit, "You're Beautiful," as a blessing, not a curse.
True, none of his songs have attained the massive success that "You're Beautiful" did when it hit the No. 1 spot five years ago in the U.S. and beyond. But Blunt, 33, is happy to have that song on his musical resume, so long as people understand there's a lot more to his achievements.
"I hope people know it's just a commercial for an album, because every musician makes something much more important than the commercial for the album," said Blunt. "If you're a fan of music and you go and listen to the album ... find really which is the hidden gem amongst them."
Blunt is hopeful people will take a close listen to his new CD, "Some Kind of Trouble," the third for the former British Army man. He calls the album, which includes the first single, "Stay the Night," his most upbeat.
The Associated Press: A lot of people think you disappeared in the last few years.
Blunt: I haven't been too lazy since then, I promise. I went on the road for two years, doing a world tour, and I ended up in the weirdest and the most wonderful places. ... Then after that, I went into the studio and I was locked into the studio for 12 months, and the result is this album, "Some Kind of Trouble."
AP: Did you enter the studio looking for a particular sound?
Blunt: I knew what I didn't want to do is record or write the same kind of album that I'd done before, because that wouldn't be fulfilling. So instead, I hung out for a little bit with my mates, I got some new inspiration just from some everyday experiences.
AP: Does it reflect a different place in where you are in life?
Blunt: A lot of the reason why this album is more upbeat is because I learnt on the electric guitar, and then I joined the Army. ... It was just a hassle carrying around an electric and an amplifier. There was nowhere in my tank to plug in my amplifier, nowhere in the bush that I was hiding in to plug in my amplifier, so an acoustic guitar was just more practical. The problem with that then is that I just sort of wrote quite melancholic songs, and although that's cool for a while, it doesn't reflect me totally. It's been really nice now to find a socket to be able to plug in an amplifier and be able to play songs on the instrument that I first learned on.
AP: Do you think the upbeat songs will surprise people?
Blunt: Yeah, I'm definitely known for a couple of sad, miserable songs. "You're Beautiful" is my most famous one here in the States, and "Goodbye My Lover," and both of them aren't the happiest of tunes. So I think people will hopefully enjoy this "Stay the Night." The first single is really upbeat and optimistic, and it's fun for me to play live to.
AP: Is that the feel for the album?
Blunt: It's here and now but it has the kind of blind optimism of the '80s when as a race of humans, we believed we could get together and do anything, and maybe in the same ways of my own teenage years, where you kind of felt life was for living.
AP: Do you think that optimism is lacking now?
Blunt: Well, you know I'm English and the English are pretty good at being cynical about life. I think you as Americans have a great quality of being quite positive, and for me I've enjoyed having that sense of optimism on this album.
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