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  • James Blunt may be his harshest critic. His latest album, Some Kind of Trouble is dropping on Jan. 18, and already he’s dissecting his songs, finding issues with this track and a sticking point with that one. Critics are having a field day as well.

    Some Kind of Trouble comes off as inert and oddly hollow; apart from the album’s comparatively lively bookends, ‘Stay the Night’ and ‘Turn Me On,’ the singer drifts listlessly through soggy material that seems to spring less from true inspiration than its poor step-cousin, contractual obligation,” writes Entertainment Weekly’s Leah Greenblatt.

    James Blunt: Some Kind of Trouble

    James Blunt’s new album, currently No. 10 on amazon’s list of best sellers, normally retails for $18.99, but you can buy it new through an Improper special offer for $8.99, a 53 percent savings. Just click the link at left to go to amazon.com. Digital tracks are available, too.

    But critics may be giving him a heard time because he has a tough act to follow — himself.

    Blunt’s favorite new song is “Turn Me On,” but his label, Atlantic, actually held it back from review copies because they thought it was “inappropriate,” he says.

    “[‘Turn Me On’ became] the unlucky song stuck on at the end, which actually in a way highlights it, so I think I’ve done myself a favor,” he says.

    Blunt has his own problem with “Stay The Night.”

    “I find it hard to describe the difference in words,” he tells Billboard. “Punchier? I think perhaps that was the brief. But I don’t know if it is necessarily more punchy-it’s just slightly different. That’s the best I can say, really.”

    The singer-songwriter’s 2005 song “You’re Beautiful” was a huge hit and Blunt’s 2005 debut album, Back to Bedlam, sold 13 million copies worldwide and 2.8 million in the United States, according to the label.

    His 2007 follow up All the Lost Souls, like most sophomore albums sold 463,000 copies in the United States.

    That could be why Blunt saying he’s starting over with Some Kind of Trouble.

    “That first album is an innocent album,” Blunt says. “Writing songs-it was a dream that I would make an album and put it out.

    “And the second one was a reaction to that dream becoming a reality, for all its benefits and its costs.

    But that’s over. And I can hear in this album a new sensibility. To regain innocence is a pretty special thing,” he says.

    Blunt has settled into a groove on his third album that probably will more than satisfy his fans.

    But whether he’ll ever be satisfied after a mega-hit like “You’re Beautiful” remains to be seen.