About a Boy
label: BMG / ARTISTDirect / XL
our score: 3.0 out of 5.0
immense critical success of his debut album, The Hour of Bewilderbeast
(our #5 album of 2000),
Damon Gough a.ka. Badly Drawn Boy took a slight departure by penning
and performing the soundtrack for Nick Hornby's (High Fidelity)
latest book to be adapted to film. Given Hornby's cultural rock
icon status, it was only fitting that the winner of 2000's coveted
Mercury Prize for best album be involved in some way or another.
for his imaginative airy compositional style, About a Boy
finds the music simplified a bit from Bewilderbeast.
Still, from the dainty opening tidbit of "Exit Stage Right"
and the deeply melodic instrumentals of "N.Y.E" its
obvious that rather than abandoning the complex compositions from
before, Gough has instead gotten to the point where his works
can be complex without being noticeably complex. It's
a score of deeply impressive music throughout and even more so,
fits the air of the film perfectly.
melodies of "A Peak You Reach" and "Something to
Talk About" (where he even manages to fit the movie's title
in - tastefully) harken back to some of the more melodic moments
on Bewilderbeast. The album's finest moment, however,
is the closing Christmas-nouveau of "Donna and Blitzen."
It's a spectacular triumph of songwriting and composition with
soaring strings, jangling bells, and superbly belted vocals.
Boy returns November 5, 2002 with his true follow-up to Hour
of Bewilderbeast, entitled Have You Fed the Fish?.
It'll undoubtedly be just as wonderful, if not more so than Bewilderbeast,
but in the meantime About a Boy works as a tidy side-project-pseudo-follow-up-filler.
Now if only more soundtracks could follow suit...
liked About a Boy...
Exit Stage Right
2. A Peak You Reach
3. Something to Talk About
4. Dead Duck
5. Above You, Below Me
6. I love NYE
7. Silent Sigh
8. Wet, Wet, Wet
9. River, Sea, Ocean
11. Rachel's Flat
12. Walking Out of Stride
13. File Me Away
14. A Minor Incident
15. Delta (Little Boy Blues)
16. Donna and Blitzen