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3.5 stars

Damon Gough's lauded to the hilt 2000 debut "The Hour of the Bewilderbeast" accumulated so much critical praise (including the proverbial kiss of death namely the Mercury Prize) that everything else he has produced seems to have to been crushed by the weight of it. True, the soundtrack to "About a boy" kept up the outer veneer of Gough as a hot property but sadly his albums since have largely disappeared from view and amazingly in "It's What I'm Thinking Part One: Photographing Snowflakes" he has clocked up his seventh album release. It is also the start of a planned trilogy and thus while no one can criticize Gough's prolificness the key question surrounds the quality of the songs.

Let us get the second part of this disc out of the way first namely "It's What He's Thinking (Oxidising Hexagons Silver Iodide - Album Re-Dux / Sound Collage" by Andy Votel. If you have 19 minutes to spare you will either love or hate this track and frankly it did nothing for your reviewer than suggest an over indulgent producer with too much time on his hands and an inability to say "no". Thus do not start here since the first disc does contain at least three absolute corkers and a fair number of growers. In the former category is "Too many miracles" a roaring joy of a track with almost Motown underpinnings and a lovely vocal by Gough. "I'm ready to be in love again" he happily announces and if as a result songs like this are the product let us hope that he finds his hearts desire ASAP. The albums closer "This beautiful idea" is vintage Gough and could have happily sat on "Bewilderbeast" with its smart Elliot Smith like references and classic pop structure. While "The order of things" is a very nice electronic/acoustic song which gently rolls over 5 minutes and almost demands that you lie flat on the ground look up at the sky and watch the clouds go past. Its one of Gough's best songs in years and begs the question why he cant maintain this level of consistency or equally salient why he feels the need to be so bloody clever for the sake of it. Thus songs like " A Pure Accident" are good but they are not great, while the six minute plus title track "Its what I'm thinking" is frankly all a bit dull and safe.

But no need to finish on a downer since the opener "In safe hands" alternatively has a a nice melancholy shoegaze quality to it and repays further listens and "You lied" reminds me of a Sting song but in a good way! Gough's new album therefore certainly doesn't deserve the snotty comments of BBC reviewer Mark Beaumont (whose blog "Spouting off and banging on" is to be fair often a excellent read) and perhaps he needs to send his views over to another part of the corporation since BBC 6 recently made it album of the day. That said let us hope that if there are indeed two further volumes of this to come that Gough can build on the strengths of this album and rapidly discard its weaknesses. If so his "hour" may yet again come around.
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on 10 April 2011
I saw BDB before Christmas when he was touring this album at RNCM in Manchester and it was one of all time favourite gigs - why he is not selling loads of albums is a mystery to me (and him i am sure)when you look at some of the dross in the charts. Great album.
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on 17 October 2010
Daman Gough has released a stunning 'wall of sound' album that easily matches, and with some of the songs (Too Many Miracles and You Lied to name but two), surpasses his previous works. His voice is just an element, equally as important as chord structures and melody lines, though given no undue prominence, in this carefully constructed and brilliantly produced aural experience which, since purchase, I've played perhaps more often than is good for me. But it's really that good. Simply put: sublime.
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on 24 February 2014
Another consistent and layered album by Badly Drawn Boy. There is a real sense of maturity in his song-writing. Many of the songs having great depth and an eeryness to them which I thoroughly enjoyed listening to!
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on 20 October 2010
You could probably draw a parallel between Badly Drawn Boy's Fifth album (seventh, including soundtracks) 'It's What I'm Thinking part 1' and his debut 'The Hour Of Bewilderbeast' as both share a similar vibe, all dreamy atmospherics. Where they differ, sadly, is the lack of an 'Everybodys Stalking' or 'Another Pearl' to make it a great album. Opener 'In Safe Hands' gently sets the mood, with a finger-picked acoustic guitar and vocals heavy on the reverb. There are a few shining lights though, 'Too Many Miracles', 'I Saw You Walk Away' and 'A Pure Accident' do lift the pace on an otherwise restrained album. Title track 'It's What I'm Thinking' is a disappointment, dreary and overlong. I would agree that Badly Drawn Boy has failed to deliver consistantly great albums since his debut and that's the case again here. But live with it for a while and it will start to draw you in to reveal a charm all of its own.
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on 31 October 2010
Even as a firm BDB fan (own all the albums!), there is no doubt that this is his weakest effort by far. I bought it a year ago and have played it 3 or 4 times only. I can't recall a single tune from it - unlike his other albums which were all good or very good, and get played in my house all the time, much to the delight of my pre-teen children. I'm tempted to say - ' only buy this if you're a big fan' - but that is what I am, and I still wish that I'd saved my money ! I really hope that he hasn't 'burnt out' after 5 very enjoyable albums - but on this evidence that is the case.
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on 22 February 2011
The one thing that BDB has always delivered has been tunes, but here this latest album falls short. Since the instant appeal of 'Bewilderbeast' and 'Fish' his albums have been growers, but either this one is taking longer to grow or else it simply isn't as strong. Enjoyable, but it would be nice to hear some more of the energy that ran through his first couple of albums.
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on 26 August 2011
Great artist is Damon. Fragile, egotistical, maybe (only my observation from seeing him perform live) - totally phenomenal musician and writer. This album gets better with each spin. He's brilliant live, too.
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on 5 January 2015
love the music but feel i was conned into buying it twice because it's just the same as "Its what I'm thinking" with a bonus track.
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on 6 December 2012
Very warm, enjoyable sound. I believe his style is developing and maturing, with this confidence clearly on display with this album.
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