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Back to Bedlam

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Shaggy, romantic, and…trained to kill. That’s the hook with James Blunt, a singer-songwriter of the Chris Martin/John Mayer croon-until-the-ladies-cry school who also happens to be a former elite soldier once stationed in Kosovo. Without the compelling backstory, his delicate, falsetto-voiced ballads like ”No Bravery” would hold little weight; with them — and with the No. 1 U.K. hit ”You’re Beautiful,” coming soon to many, many weddings near you — he buys himself enough credibility on Back to Bedlam to merit a deeper listen.

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