One Plus One Is One
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With his new album, One Plus One Is One, Badly Drawn Boy, aka Damon Gough, has returned to the raw sound of his debut, the acclaimed Mercury Music Prize winning The Hour of the Bewilderbeast. Produced by close friend Andy Votel, his latest offering has the more personal feel of a man returning to his roots, and it will carry you along on the journey with him.
In One Plus One Is One, lovable, romantic, woolly-hat-clad eccentric Damon Gough has produced his best album since he beat Coldplay to Mercury Music Prize winning glory with his debut (The Hour of the Bewilderbeast). With Badly Drawn Boy shunning LA in favour of a Manchester studio and with Andy Votel back at the production helm One Plus One is a wry, self-mocking and exquisitely personal album that finds Gough re-evaluating the sudden fame that found him working with Joan Collins, recording soundtracks and residing in California.
The opening title track sets the mood with Gough exhaustedly intoning "Back to being who I was before/ Open up your door/ Give me some peace/ Hold me now/ Everybody is waiting outside." Other highlights include the playfully clumsy rhythms of "Four Leaf Clover" and the epic and ingenious "Holy Grail", the latter coming complete with weaving flute, children's choir, pounding piano and lyrics able to break a heart at half a listen. Charming, dishevelled and unpretentious throughout, One Plus One Is One is a superb comeback that will warm the hearts and delight the ears of his loyal fan base. --Christopher Barrett
Top Customer Reviews
Unlike, it seems, almost everyone else on the planet, I thought Have You Fed the Fish was a fantastic album. OK, so it wasn't Hour of Bewilderbeast Mk II, and it did attempt a more orchestrated, mainstream sound. But I think this has distracted some people from acknowledging that the quality of the songwriting was as high as ever. You Were Right, for example, is one of the greatest singles of the last decade.
One Plus One is One proves that, if anything, the songs are actually improving. Some people have given this album a half-hearted response, saying it's just more of the same - as if an artist with the talent of BDB has to innovate with every new album simply to counter the restlessness of the audience and please the critics. Many bands struggle for decades to come up with a handful of great songs - BDB seems able to knock them out one after the other. This album is the latest batch from the conveyor belt of genius, and it's hard to pick out highlights, there's so much quality on offer. Summertime in Wintertime, Four Leaf Clover, This is That New Song - all classics.
Buy this and you'll listen to nothing else for a long, long while.
Gough has really gone back to doing what he is best at - writing simple tunes with great lyrics. Whilst the songs themselves are catchy and decent without being brilliant, there is a lyrical maturity reminiscent of the incredible 'You were right' that was never too evident in Gough's earlier work. He manages to say some pretty wise and even profound things without sounding in any way forced or condescending. What really shines through in this album is what a nice bloke Damon Gough has managed to remain throughout his rise to fame. He's totally comfortable with himself and the music he's producing - who else is cool enough to have children singing on two tracks on the same album and get away with it?! Not Cliff Richard, and certainly not Michael Jackson...
Badly Drawn Boy simply doesn't make bad music, and anyone calling themself a fan should definitely add this to their collection. There are 5 or 6 good songs, and lyrics that really make you listen. For any fans of Anchorman, there is even a dashing of Burgundy-esque jazz flute. What more could you ask for?!
Just a word of advice to people who like to complain, please go listen to an album before you buy it. It is usually what intelligent people do. You may want to write that down in case you forget. Anyway I think people should appreciate someone who hasn't been corrupted buy the music industry. I believe this is someone who is totally original, which is something of a novelty these days.
And if you should ever get the chance to see him play live, GO!
This is definitely his best work since Bewilderbeast, I'm personally quite in love with this album at the moment, and it's definitely a grower. It sounds much more polished than a lot of his older work (listen to the lovely warm acoustic guitar on 'Easy Love') which I consider a good thing. The album's filled with great melodies from start to finish, always keeping the classic BDB sound. Thanks for another great album, Mr Gough.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
BDB is bloody great-bloody bloody great-but, unfortunately since have you fed the fish he seems to be missing a trick. Read morePublished on 20 Dec. 2009 by mega munch
I got this album quite a time ago, since then i have loaded it onto my MP3 player as i have done with all my CD's. Read morePublished on 9 Aug. 2006 by Ben Wilding
Well where do I begin. I bought this album since im already a big fan and have The Hour of the Bewilderbeast and Have You Fed the Fish? Read morePublished on 15 Sept. 2004 by mr.mercury