Back to Bedlam

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Release Date

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Performance

Reviewer

Adam R. Holz
Bob Smithouser

Album Review

Pro-Social Content

Despite being drenched in melancholy, the disc finds sweetness in a sunrise (“High”), pays tribute to a departed friend (“So Long, Jimmy”) and seems to acknowledge a need for soul salvation (“Tears and Rain”). “No Bravery” is a profound anti-war song chronicling horrors that Blunt witnessed in Kosovo as a captain in the British army. Mutual support among friends is central to “Cry” (“Come and sit with me and cry on my shoulder/I’m a friend”).

Objectionable Content

Beyond being about a guy plotting to win over a potentially married woman who catches his eye, “You’re Beautiful” coughs up an f-word. “Goodbye My Lover” reminisces about a sexual relationship (“I’ve kissed your lips and held your head/Shared your dreams and shared your bed”). The singer wrings every ounce of hopelessness possible from “Billy,” “Out of My Mind” and “Tears and Rain,” which concludes, “I guess it’s time I run far, far away/ Find comfort in pain.” A recurring means of escape seems to be via chemical high (“So Long, Jimmy,” “Wisemen,” “High” and a photo of a pill on the disc itself). “Wisemen” also uses the s-word and disparages people as “bastards.” “So Long, Jimmy” mentions “voodoo magic.”

Summary Advisory

A few songs have something to say, but the rest of this Coldplay-meets-’70s retro effort wallows in despair, implying that drugs may ease life’s pain. Add a pair of strong profanities, and James is a bit too blunt.

Adam R. Holz

After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.

Bob Smithouser
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