James Blunt
Scarlet Page

JAMES BLUNT opens up about his recent album, social media and life in the public eye.

Moon Landing, the fourth edition of what are often emotion-filled melodies from singer-songwriter James Blunt, is unapologetically unapologetic.

“I wasn’t singing to an audience or writing songs for an audience — even trying to entertain an ­audience,” Blunt says of the album’s stripped-down, heart-on-his-sleeve recording process. “Instead, I was writing songs about my life’s experiences for myself, to understand what’s going on in the world and my admittance of my own failings and insecurities along the way. When you accept those, it allows you to relax a little bit, doesn’t it?”

From the time “You’re Beautiful” was released nearly 10 years ago until now, Blunt has been no stranger to sharing openly through song. Although he’s sold nearly 17 million records since his 2004 debut, Back to Bedlam, lodging “You’re Beautiful” forever into our collective pop consciousness, he may be admittedly less immune than most to the abuse so often afforded pop stars who might just be a little too good at writing a memorable hook. It’s a good thing he takes self-deprecation seriously. If you follow his Twitter account (@JamesBlunt), you’ll find that firing back facetiously has become one of his clever hobbies.

“I think there is an issue with humanity in that people in the privacy of their own rooms feel somehow brave enough with Internet ­anonymity to be pretty rude,” Blunt says. “I think that might be tough for people who are more delicate than myself. I question why humans feel the need to be quite so horrid to each other, but in my case, it’s something I positively enjoy.”

Blunt addresses social-media addictions on the bouncy “Satellites,” Moon Landing’s second single behind the barnstorming pop number “Bonfire Heart.” Perhaps more poignant is Blunt’s dissection of the Whitney Houston tragedy on “Miss America.” “It’s happened to Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse and even perhaps Princess Diana,” he says.

It’s an idea that Blunt undoubtedly has considered, processed and resolved on Moon Landing, which, in all its rawness, is Blunt’s best work since Bedlam. The album is an exercise in back-to-basics introspection.