1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2005
This really is an exceptionally good album. Since I put it on a couple of weeks ago, I've become somewhat addicted to it (you know how it goes!) Although I should say - addicted to certain songs on it. There is a unity, a theme that runs through the album, that relies on Gough's wit to carry it off. I have found it unusual in that there is an elegance and style in his lyrics that is lacking in a lot of music nowadays.
So... good lyrics - and for me- great tunes. Lovely melodies that, like the lyrics, sometimes repeat throughout the album.
The highlight has to be the witty, all enveloping "You were right" I defy anyone to listen to that track a few times and not be chuckling about madonna etc and hearing the tune in one's head.
I'm not one of these reviews who goes through each track one by one, nor do i list al the influences i can hear in a track (the more obscure, the more pretentious right?) I am simply a music fan, who has stumbled across a very good album that has really changed my direction in music, and has become a "sound track for my life" at this current moment in time. And I would love other people to enjoy this album as much as I do.
Hope you buy it, hope it's special for you.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2002
I first heard "Have You Fed the Fish" through BDB's Web site and I must admit I wasn't very impressed. But, apon hearing the real thing (not the weak, streaming audio version) I'm thrilled with the outcome; it's a great combination of the innocence of "the Hour of Bewilderbeast" and the mature songcraft of "About a Boy". Some of the songs even have a terrific Burt Bacarach style about them. I've been playing this album over and over again since picking it up.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2002
What can I say? After two stunning albums, I thought it impossible to follow it up with another of the same quality. Badly Drawn Boy has proven me wrong. Simply put, this album is amazing!
Some may say it is over-produced, but the mass of sounds clamouring to be heard only serves to enhance this album. As usual, each song sounds like it could be broken up into three separate songs. This is no bad thing.
There are some great touches on this album. Things you will feel good about when you notice them for the first time. For instance, the way "I Was Wrong" blends seamlessly into "You Were Right". It's touches like this that make you think the man honestly *cares* how we, the public, receive his music. And by gum, I believe he genuinely does!
A breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale music industry.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2003
Badly Drawn Boy is a rare commodity in these times. Without the chiselled looks of Justin Timberlake, nor the gifted voice of Coldplay's Chris Martin he has still managed to capture the imagination of the record buying public and created some of the most surreal, out of context appearances on Top of the Pops....ever. Hats off to him for that (excuse the pun).
A trait that deserves even more respect, however, is the prodigious rate at which he can produce albums of shining quality. Transforming from quirky lo-fi to quirky well-produced catchiness whilst maintaining the warm and endearing qualities that made his fanbase could not have been easy. By doing so he seems to have struck on a formula that is commanding and seemingly unstoppable.
As you may have guessed, I am a huge fan of Damon and the music he produces. Perhaps it was this and the high pedestal that I had put 'Hours of Bewilderbeast' and 'About A Boy' on then that led to my initial disappointment at 'Have You Fed The Fish?'. Whilst the first two albums seemed deep and moving on first listen and were, to my eyes faultless, this album appeared flawed and stale. The ongoing lyrical theme of 'tickets to what you need' grated on me and it seemed that some of the potentially best songs changed halfway through or stopped altogether. Prime examples of this are tracks 'Have You Fed The Fish?' where the hugely impressive and emotive beginning turned to something reminiscent of circus music, and 'I Was Wrong' which offered, more than any other track, a triumphant return to some of the best, quieter moments on '...Bewilderbeast' before sliding, far too quickly, into 'You Were Right'.
Whilst my love of his previous two albums led to my initial disappointment, it also led to me giving 'Have You Fed The Fish?' more chances than I would normally allow. So, a few listens later I had made a U-turn. Though not as serious and emotionally grounded as those before, it is still extremely enjoyable. Tracks such as 'Born Again', 'All Possibilities' and 'How?' offer a great deal on repeated listen. The big, expansive sound is a contrast to the calm, refined attitude of yore but, this is by no means a bad thing. Indeed, the comic appeal of songs like 'You Were Right' are based on the juxtaposition of small themes and big music.
With the trilogy of albums that BDB has created thus far there is a lot of hope for his future recordings. 'Bewilderbeast' may prove to be the jewel in his crown but 'Have You Fed The Fish?' is certainly not going to be left too far behind.
A great album from one of Britain's most talented songwriters.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 28 October 2002
Trying to pigeon hole Badly Drawn boy is akin to "p***ing in the wind" to coin a phrase and a pun in one. For those who were disappointed by Mr Gough's foray into the mainstream with the more syrupy offering that was the About a Boy soundtrack will be delighted with his album, as will the legions of fans he picked up as a result of the aforementioned soundtrack. This is due to this offering falling stylistically speaking in between BDB's idiosyncratic "Bewilderbeast" album and "About a boy".
This album finds Gough in upbeat, joyously crafted pop song mode,standout tracks being the brilliant top 10 single "you were right" , the stomping "Positive Things" and gloriously quirky title track "Have you fed the fish". With occasional bass sections that often nods towards Dexys Midnight Runners, superb lyrics in the Bragg/Costello mould of cohesive storytelling, this albuym should firmly establish Gough as one of England's premier singer/songwriters.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 13 November 2002
Wow! I've had this for approaching 2 weeks now. I haven't stopped listening.
Track 1 - Not much here, apart from a fantastically razzy brass theme, stes the album up nicely
Track 2 - A highlight of the album. Bizzare lyrics "there's some good times around the corner, but have you fed the fish today?" and a wonderful triumphant tune combine to make this a real feel good song
Track 3 - more low key. Decent enough, keeps the album moving at a pace. "Maybe there's a reason that I'm born again"
Track 4 - fantastic chord progression, very beatle-esque. "You look a lot lot better tonight, maybe we should go out for a fight". Love it more every listen. BdB shows off his writing genius in this track.
Track 5 - brassy feel, good production let down by a slightly lack-lustre tune. Love the trumpet 'slides'!
Track 6 - moving into....
Track 7 - the undeniable highlight of the album. hearing this made me buy the album. Lyrically wonderful - " I remember doing nothing on the night Sinatra died....i remember I stayed up to watch the news with everyone" coupled with a superb drum line and violin harmonies. The song of the year, no competition. Sorry!
Track 8 - Polyfilla
Track 9 - My 2nd favorite. Doesn't take himself too seriously - "How can I give you the answers you need, when all I possess is a melody?" Listen to the triumphant trumpet line, be in awe.
Track 10 - More brass. Quite nice. Nothing too special, but good sing along stuff
Track 11 - Nice enough. Bit on the short side (!)
Track 12 - Hmm.. Hot sure about this one yet. maybe it will grow on me. Doubt it though
Track 13 - Yes! Speed changes constantly, fantastic lyrics. Bit of jazz. Makes the album more diverse.
Track 14 - Lovely chill out song, let BdB take you to another world.
Track 15 - Great ending. More chill out music, but with a soul.
Manchester's best act since Oasis. Let this album get under your skin, and then just absorb it. It's great unpretentious music.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2002
'Songs are never quite the answer, just a soundtrack for a life.'
Badly Drawn Boy, aka Damon Gough, has managed to remain a distinctive voice in modern songwriting - even after a brush with Hollywood. This, his second album, carries the weight of his former success without breaking a sweat. It swoons with glorious strings, his homely voice soothing and friendly, the lyrics as obtuse and funny as ever. Between his colliery band humility and newfound production skill, BDB has produced an effortless winner. Crisper and cleaner than his debut, 'Have You Fed The Fish?' has a shimmering coating of filmic shine which both lightens the sunny, happy 'You Were Right' and makes 'How?' a deeper, more beautiful ballad. Each song melts beautifully into the next, making it perfect listening - a record which truly needs to be owned, as essential as Revolver and eccentric and Sgt Pepper. Buy it, love it.
on 21 October 2006
This is so enjoyable, the tunes are great and easy to get into, I especially like, "All Possibilities" which evokes memories of "About a Boy", which, of course he wrote the music for and is one of my absolute favourite films. I also love how Damon Gough sounds similar to John Lennon, a musical legend!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 June 2003
Much more accessible than 'The Hour Of Bewilderbeast' this new Dadly Drawn Boy LP is a very different kind of album. Gone are the folk influences and in come the big guitar sound and the big production. Gough is certainly trying to find a sound that suits him best and one thinks that he may well have found it.
The lyrics are still witty and clever and although his voice hasn't progressed it dosn't matter. He's written a batch of very catchy, very radio-freindly pop songs that are delightfully constructed in an intelligent way. Hopefully his next album will be a combination of both 'Have You fed The Fish' and 'Bewilderbeast', some fans of the latter may feel alienated with Mr Drawn Boys new commercial sound.
This album narrowly misses out on 5 stars as i feel that it drops somewhat after track 9: 'How'. 'Tickets To What You Need' and 'Bedtime Story' are both good but a few album fillers crop up ('Using Our Feet' and 'The Further I Slide' being two).
Overall this is a very good album. Standout tracks: 'Have You Fed The Fish', 'Born Again', 'You Were Right' and 'How'.
on 7 May 2015
Bought this because theres one or two singles that I really like of Badly Drawn Boy - but apart from them its not very good. Dont bother