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4.6 out of 5 stars14
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VINE VOICEon 21 October 2006
Here we have album number 5 from the "wooly-hatted one". In true Damon Gough style, it has a playful, punning title ("Born in the UK" - a nod to his idol, Springsteen.) In true Damon Gough style, the music here is beautiful, exhilirating, uplifting and GODDAMN LIFE AFFIRMING! I hate to be so predictable, and bestow it with 5 stars, but...WHAT THE HELL?! This music is making me happy. 5 STARS it is. Let me guide you through, track by track:-

1.Swimming Pool. - Some spoken word philosophising from Damon. Would probably sound lame coming from other artists, but from Mr Gough, this outspoken love for his family sounds earnest and real. A powerful start to the album.

2.Born In the UK. - Vintage BDB. Impossibly catchy and energetic. Power chords on the piano and a Joy Division-style rolling beat. A very infectious vocal line. Be prepared to fall in love with this tune!

3.Degrees of Separation. - Piano-driven kitchen sink pop. Beautiful.

4.Welcome to the Overground. - Sounds like something from a 1970s musical!(Godspell, possibly?) This brings the album to a whole new level. Operatic backing vocals, a triumphant melody, gigantic piano stabs. The energy here is tangible.

5.Journey from A to B. - Very remeniscent of New Order's "Run". This contains a very captivating one-finger piano hook.

6.Nothing's Gonna Change Your Mind. - This one you know. A melodramatic masterpiece!

7.Promises. - Introspective and melancholy. Builds and builds, then the beat kicks in and this tune spreads its considerable wings! Superb.

8. The Way Things Used to Be. - Good use of slide guitar.

9. Without a Kiss. - Classical-style arpeggiated piano. Another introspective beaut.

10.The Long Way Round. - My personal favourite. A gorgeous vocal line, accompanied by an equally gorgeous muted trumpet and minor piano chords. This sounds like early Belle and Sebastian. Possibly even better.

11.Walk You Home Tonight. - Perfectly executed tune. Piano and ghostly synthesiser. This would have fitted snugly into the "About a Boy" set.

12.The Time of Times. - A rythm guitar heavy, golden sunset tune.

13.One Last Dance. - Upbeat ballad as a finisher. This is a beautiful love song that floats on perfect waves of melody. The climactic chorus makes this the perfect closer to a pretty much perfect album!

So there you have it. Buy the album. Slap it in the HI-FI. Feel your hair stand on end. Feel alive.
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on 9 December 2006
Easily the finest Badly Drawn Boy album since 2002's ABOUT A BOY soundtrack,

BORN IN THE U.K. finds the British alternative-pop artist (a.k.a. Damon Gough)

playing to his strengths after a period of creative stagnation. While the title

track (a nod to Gough's musical hero, Bruce Springsteen) is energetic and

assured as it careens over a Beatlesque drum line, "Nothing's Going to Change

Your Mind" is a lush, plaintive ballad that reinforces earlier comparisons to

Harry Nilsson. Although BORN IN THE U.K. doesn't feature the overt eclecticism

of Gough's lauded debut, THE HOUR OF BEWILDERBEAST, it benefits not only from

Gough's renewed focus on crafting compelling pop songs, but from a new creative

foil, Lemon Jelly's Nick Franglen, who helped to flesh out the album's

arrangements. Although the record will readily appeal to Badly Drawn Boy

diehards, it should also win over some lapsed fans, and garner some new admirers

as well.
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on 4 May 2013
It took me 7 years of having Hour of the Bewilder-beast to listen to it- I don't understand why either. Having heard it and loved it, it took no time at all to buy and listen to Born in the UK. I too am a Springsteen fan going back to 1977 - this is a much better album than Born in the USA, agreed both albums show the authors conflicted about the USA or UK but Damon shows a better vocabulary meaning the album runs better end to end and there are moments of triumph and majesty that I am not eloquent enough to describe. There are outstanding songs on this album but don't get hung up on that, do yourself a favour buy this and play it end to end and feel grateful that the UK can produce and nurture talent of Damon's standing.
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on 10 August 2013
Ok, The Hour of Bewilderbeast gets loads of praise (rightly so too), but this is my favourite Badly Drawn Boy album. Bought it as soon as it came out in 2006, and always loved this- especially the title track, Journey from A to B, Promises and The way things used to be. But sll the tracks are great. Just invested in this limited edition with DVD too, and very glad I did. The cd's superb - as I knew - but the DVD is recommended too. Just a brilliant album, and I've had Journey from A to B in my head all day!
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on 4 April 2010
This isn't a bad album by any means, but nor is it a great one. Track after track of familiar, safe pop melodies. This isn't another hour of bewilderbeast and as such any serious BDB fans will feel a little bit disappointed. As we have done with every album since the debut. Don't write it off though, its easy to listen to and has a feel good factor to it. It just isn't going to be played on repeat for numerous day running.
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on 14 February 2013
Loved Hour of the Bewilderbeast, and thought Have You Fed the Fish & About A Boy were pretty good, but really loving this album - melancholy and bittersweet, with the usual clever and touching lyrics
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on 17 February 2013
A lovely packaged product. Great songs.Great visual footage. What more can any one ask for ?. Buy this item you will not be disappointed.
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on 28 October 2006
The first time I heard OK Computer I didn't know what all the fuss was about. But slow burners can be strong burners and Born in the UK is a classic case. The melodies on this album are restrained and, on the face of it, unremarkable but they embed in your brain and you end up craving them. BDB doesn't put a foot wrong on this album. There are no embarrassing fanfares, no false notes, no awkward lyrics. So delicate are some of these songs that, like Mercury Rev, you wonder why BDB falls into an alternative rock category. On first listen, a song like The Long Way Round has an muzak feel that wouldn't be out of place in a hotel lift - but the strength of the melody will last you a whole day's humming. Every song is beautifully but restrainfully crafted, with some lovely shifts of mood and beat. The most effective is on the beautiful Without a Kiss, while there is another on The Way Things Used to Be, which takes you from melancholy to jauntiness via humour in a slide guitar. It could have been a Springsteen song if the drums were banged harder and koy Damon exercised his lungs it a bit more, instead of breath-singing like Mark Knopfler. The Time of Times and Born in the UK also have the potential to be stomping anthems but are held in check. The tinkling piano recalls the Boss on various tracks, especially on Journey from A to B, an influence acknowledged on Our Last Dance. Perhaps appropriately, another influence is the UK musical. We hear shades of West End shows in the choral Welcome to the Overground and in the structurally complex Nothing's Gonna Change Your Mind. Lyrically, BDB is also very restrained with no poetic fireworks but he comes across as a really nice guy throughout. The romantic One Last Dance tells a simple but heart-warming story of true love. But even this finale to the album doesn't take itself seriously.
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on 18 October 2014
Wasted talent. Gone off after promising start. Don't go seeing him live!
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on 29 October 2006
Whilst I have enjoyed previous albums from Badly Drawn Boy (BDB) I have found his latest offering particularly excellent. The album is dedicated to Bruce Springsteen and his influence is obvious. Unlike previous albums I feel the music does not 'jump-around' as much and makes for a more thematic, coherant listen. The topcs covered will be familiar to any Springsteen fan but to summarize BDB sings about growing up and running away/escaping to a better place. The album was great on first listen and I will be enjoying this in years to come.
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