BDB is bloody great-bloody bloody great-but, unfortunately since have you fed the fish he seems to be missing a trick. The first album was great-the second album which was the soundtrack to about a boy was more than a soundtrack, it was a brilliant album. Then came have you fed the fish which was just great good pop songs and a thoroughly good record. So what has happened with damon gough since-oh dear. His writing sounds like its gone fro m being prolific to sporadic. I suspect he wrote a couple of good songs and then thought an album was looming and wrote the other songs to order which i'm afraid simply don't work. This is definetly his worst album and should never have been released as it is just not good enough. in fairness there is a couple of good tracks but from what we have been used to there should be an album of top tunes.it makes me really angry that he is clearly an amazing writer and he has somehow let his own standards slip. There will be plenty of BDB fanatics who will write great acolades on here but you get that with every artist as nutters will always be attracted to thinking people will listen to them but trust me-i love his first 3 albums but this is just cobblers.
This will never be regarded as a great album, and clearly lacks the coolness and mysticality of Bewilderbeast, but it does mark a significant return to form for Damon Gough. Judging by some of the lyrics in this album, and various past interviews, BDB himself felt his music and perhaps his professional life was lacking direction. As he sings in the title track 'Its time to close the doors on myself...As the past becomes the future it gets clearer that it still boils down to love and peace.' Love and peace is really what the album itself boils down to. It is full of uplifting lyrics like in 'Another Devil Dies' and 'Year of the Rat,' which both somehow inspire you to be a better person. 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?!
If i were looking for instant gratification from an album, then I would probably have reviewed this 2 or 3 stars...but I wanted to stick with it and, after 5 listens, i can honestly say this album really grows on you and gets under your skin, songs such as Another Devil Dies and This Is That New Song, they really get inside you. It's a great album, but please please give it a few listens if it doesn't grab you at first...it'll be worth it!