July 22, 2004

Review: Badly Drawn Boy's "One Plus One Is One"

When I avoid reviewing a CD, it's usually because a) it is too good and my comments will be  overly laden with "gorgeous" OR b) I don't want to admit I don't like it. At 14 tracks, the new Badly Drawn Boy CD, One Plus One Is One, is about 4 too long.  And I don't like it. Damon Gough's songs wind around like a slow, drunken drivers who have no home or destination. Perhaps the genius About A Boy soundtrack (AAB) succeeded because he had such a specific assignment? Write about A, B and C and intersperse it with sweet little instrumentals.

"Easy Love" sounds like it could have been on AAB - it's plaintive and honest. Likewise, "The Year Of The Rat" is a worthy first single. It' s classic BDB. He even manages to pull off a children's choir, which usually makes a song sound cloying. In this case, the kiddies sibilant "everybody needsh to know itsh the year of the rat" is endearing. Maybe he should do an alternate mix with Liza Minelli?

"Four Leaf Clover" sounds like it has been running for 10 mins when you're only 3 minutes in. The man needs an editor (see this website page for a visual example). Toward the end, all the songs blend and you can't even tell where one begins or ends. There is flute, piano, bass, guitar, backwards vocals and more kiddies. Too much!  Sadly this is BDB's second dud CD - I didn't like the last one either.  How many chances does one get before it adds up to zero?


small squirrel said...

Here's my thing with BDB. I like the music when in a mix, but I cannot hack sitting down and listening to any BDB disk straight through. So I will doubly take your word here. ish.

xolondon said...

Though I will shhay that "About A Boy" ish a good shoundtrack all the way through. I love to shing along!