Picks and Pans Review: James Blunt

updated 10/24/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/24/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

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There's an ache in James Blunt's voice that suggests he has been through some stuff. Indeed, the British Army veteran witnessed some of the horrors of war when he was sent to Kosovo as part of the NATO peacekeeping force: "Houses burnt beyond repair/ The smell of death is in the air," he details on the somber piano ballad "No Bravery." But this talented newcomer, who brings to mind a cross between John Mayer and Damien Rice, is just as effective when he turns his reedy tenor to singing about unrequited love on the lovely single "You're Beautiful."

DOWNLOAD THIS: "You're Beautiful"

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