"If you're the kind of person who wanted James Blunt to only ever put out one album, well, this is it."
That's the singer/songwriter James Blunt's characteristically dry pitch for his new greatest hits album The Stars Beneath My Feet.
Released on November 19, the album features his biggest songs from 2004 to 2021, from the ubiquitous You're Beautiful to his newest single Love Under Pressure - a piano ballad that nearly had a very different title.
Speaking to the Herald, Blunt, 47, revealed he originally wrote the song about the pressures of trying to get a visa for Spain, where he lives in Ibiza.
But as his co-writer Jack Savoretti pointed out, "that was just maybe a bit of a niche subject that people wouldn't really get over-excited about. So rather than Visa Application Under Pressure, he suggested Love Under Pressure."
The struggle of getting a visa was just one aspect of the pandemic that affected the making of the album, which he describes as an "amazing experience".
"My bass player and my drummer were in the UK, my guitarist in Australia, my producer in Los Angeles and I'm in Spain. And we could literally listen to each other live on headphones and record that way. And so the whole recording process because of the pandemic has been amazing as well."
Making a greatest hits album came about naturally amid the pandemic, he says.
"I actually just started thinking and reflecting on what the hell has happened to me over the last 17 years. And I started to collect my favourite songs along the way, not just the obvious ones, but you know, live performances that meant something to me."
It didn't just come down to picking his own favourite songs for the album - "I think you have to take on board what the supporters might like, and what are the most meaningful moments along the way.
"If it was up to the record labels, they'd just follow an algorithm and put out whatever is their top 20 on Spotify. But humans are slightly more complex than that."
He hasn't played in New Zealand since 2018 - his 2020 visit was, of course, cancelled. But he doesn't rule out coming back to Aotearoa before long.
"If you guys invite me, I'll be there in a flash."
His UK tour kicks off in February before heading to Europe and the rest of the world, and Blunt has his fingers crossed he'll make it down under by 2023.
His favourite thing about New Zealand is the Kiwi sense of humour, he says.
"The people have a pretty similar sense of humour to the Brits in many ways."
It's that sense of humour that he's perhaps most well known for, other than his music - his self-effacing tweets often go viral, something he never thought would happen when he first got a Twitter account.
"It's just a weird thing. Social media people are just mean to each other generally. I was surprised at how venomous people are to everyone, that people take their opinion so seriously, and are so unkind to each other behind each other's backs," he says.
"And then I realised that it was really fun that I had a medium to reply to things that I hadn't had before. Rather than just being mean, I was just taking the piss out of myself as well, for taking it seriously," he jokes.
"Because if I'm playing to 10,000 people, and then there's two negative things online, why am I looking at the two negative things online? I should be thrilled about the 10,000 people I'm paying in front of. And so really, I'm just laughing at myself for even looking at the two negatives, which is just human nature, isn't it?"
And while he never wants to stop making music, Blunt has a few other irons in the fire. He's just put a book out called How to Be a Complete and Utter Blunter, and owns his own pub in London.
It seems his interest in beer doesn't stop there, as he's also landed a gig hosting UK television series Beer Masters, which sees top brewers compete against each other to produce the perfect pour.
"It's kind of like Bake Off. It's better than Bake Off - like a baking competition but with beer. And I get to be the host, which is just mad, but I'm definitely not saying no. I get to drink on camera - it's the best job I can ever imagine having," he gushes.
That said, the singer won't be quitting music anytime soon to pursue a TV hosting career.
"My day job is music, and that's the one that pays the bills."