Album Reviews: One Plus One Is One by Badly Drawn BoyAlbum reviews need to be timely. But how can you really know how you feel about an album after having lived with it for only a week or so? Some of my favorite albums took months or even years to slowly burn into my subconscious. The latest from Damon Gough, a.k.a. Badly Drawn Boy, could be one of those slow burns. Unfortunately, I have to give my review of One Plus One is One now.
The slick production from the beanie-sporting singer/songwriter's last effort, Have You Fed the Fish, has been shucked off in favor of a more stripped-down style, reminiscent of his much-praised debut, The Hour of Bewilderbeast. This might sound like good news for fans, but unfortunately, this album seems to lack those “stand up and take notice of me” gems from his prior releases. From Gough, we've come to expect solid, well-orchestrated pop songs in the vein of Harry Nilsson meets Burt Bacharach, and while that's still the style here, the substance just isn't as good.
There’s no denying the talent of Damon Gough, and I look forward to his future releases. But although some of these songs are quite good, they feel like leftovers from his previous efforts, or even a step backward. This may simply be a sign of an artist happy with his own style and songwriting, but the majority of these tracks don’t grab your attention or demand another listen -- which would seem to suggest that this isn't a slow burn after all. - Doug Kamin
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