James Blunt
The Afterlove
Atlantic

It’s just too easy to slag off James Blunt. His poshness and those sickly sentimental ballads have painted a whopping target on the back of this subcutaneous irritant. His acerbic tweets (“I never liked my own voice. Until it made me rich”) and self-deprecating humour may have won over a few fence-sitters, but Blunt is still just a privileged coffee table singer-songwriter with an annoying voice who wrote a catchy mega-selling single. There’s nothing on The Afterlove, his fifth album and follow-up to 2013’s platinum-selling Moon Landing, that’s going to change anyone’s opinion of him. Heading in a more polished R&B direction with an array of producers and co-writers (including new best buddy Ed Sheeran), The Afterlove is another dose of slick pop created for people who find Coldplay a little too rock ’n’ roll.