21 Feb 2006
I have been meaning to write a treatise on why the James Blunt song “You’re Beautiful” is a horrid, awful thing, and then I forget and I see the video or hear the song on the radio or see the incessant commercial on VH1 touting James Blunt and his “strangely angelic” voice as something I should revere instead of loathe, and then I get mad all over again and so here it is.
by Sally J. Nordan
1. The song is about a man who sees a pretty girl on the subway and apparently falls in love.
2. Falling in love without actually speaking to someone is lame and juvenile.
3. In the first verse, he says, “She was with another man. / But I won’t lose no sleep on that, / ‘Cause I’ve got a plan.” Ok, what’s the plan? Nothing. To write a fucking song about it.
4. He claims in the middle of the song that “I don’t think that I’ll see her again, / We shared a moment that will last till the end.” Ok, you know, this is the only remotely ok moment of the song. Have you ever seen someone and thought weirdly to yourself, I’ll never see that person again, huh. Not that I’ve ever written a song about it, but once I saw this cute boy at the mall in 1990, and either he was wearing a Depeche Mode t-shirt that said “Enjoy the Silence,” or else it was playing in the store (which has to be wrong, right?), and I thought he was pretty much the perfect-looking boy ever, and I thought to myself, Wow, he’s hot, huh, I’ll prolly never see him again. And when I hear “Enjoy the Silence,” which, ok, isn’t often, I think of him. So.
5. He repeats “you’re beautiful, you’re beautiful” 1 million times in the song, thus reinforcing that it was her beauty that is causing such anguish and strangely angelic sounds to emit from his person.
6. In the video, which I keep watching because I hate it so much, Mr. Blunt takes off all his clothes, lines up his shoes — the first time I saw this part, I thought, oh no he di’int just perform the international symbol for impending suicide! — and then commences to jumping off a bridge. I am officially getting old because this makes me incredibly angry.
7. So he sees a pretty girl, claims to have a plan when in fact he has none, says that he’s never going to be with her, says she’s pretty 1 million times, then kills himself. Awesome.
8. There is also the issue of the strangely angelic voice, which I am not going to pick on because it’s not like he can help it. But some people with similarly weepy, girly voices (say, this band or this band) use their powers for good instead of evil. (Ok, maybe that Keane song about seeing the branches of a tree looking at [me] is a bit much. But they ain’t killing theyselves over the tree, see?)