The AfterloveThe ubiquity of You’re Beautiful may have turned James Blunt into a cheap punchline in the midaughts, but like the creators of Mmmbop still selling out venues seven albums later, Blunt remains undeterred.

Four albums in, Blunt’s balladry lies somewhere between The Chainsmokers and fun., leading to a varied record that hits all of contemporary pop’s high notes: singalong anthems (Bartender), tropical house (Lose My Number), Kavinsky-ish synthwave (California), and more traditional fingerpicking softness (Time Of Our Lives). The Afterlove might not break the avant-garde, but it proves that James Blunt is a polished student of pop, and is much more than just one song.

The Afterlove is out now via Warner.

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