James Blunt
James Blunt Jimmy Fontaine

MUSIC: James Blunt's new album a gift for loved-up couples

JAMES Blunt fans who want to get married this year have been delivered a couple of crackers to walk down the aisle to on his fifth album, The Afterlove.

The album opens with Love Me Better, an upbeat start that is the first option for brides and grooms-to-be this year. Blunt, who is almost as well known for his scathing and hilarious Twitter feed with 1.32 million followers, had some big hitters collaborate on this latest offering.

Ed Sheeran, plus songwriters Ryan Tedder, Amy Wadge (who has also worked with Sheeran) and Stephan Moccio (Miley Cyrus) all had input.

Track five, Someone Singing Along, is an acoustic tune with folksy overtones. It is a relief following the more emotional ballads at the beginning of the album that explore the nature of love, love lost, and longing.

California is a light-hearted, synth-heavy track with tight production. It is a standout.

Song seven, Make Me Better, is the second track on the album for all those loved-up couples out there who are struggling to find that first bridal waltz song. Track eight, Time Of Our Lives, incorporates some sharp keyboard work with an Irish-type lilt to it. With lyrics like "there's so much love under these lights”, it's an easy third option for engaged couples.

The guitar is back and prominent for Heartbeat. The more rapid tempo kicks the album into the last quarter.

The latest offering is the follow-up to the 2013 album, Moon Landing. Blunt's debut, Back to Bedlam, sold more than 11 million copies. The musician will perform at this year's Logies on April 23.

The Afterlove is out now through Atlantic Records.

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