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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 14 June 2017
When I pulled this album out of my CD rack, there was a moment of puzzlement, almost confusion. Simply put, I couldn't remember buying or listening to this album and, yet, there it was. It's odd, because I've been a Badly Drawn Boy fan since the days of Bewilderbeast and I've been aware that Damon Gough has been extremely quiet on the music front for a long time, but I simply could not remember the existence of It's What I'm Thinking. I put the album on to play and there was a glimmer of recognition during my first listen of the ten songs, but nothing really stood out to me. The second listening session brought very little more in terms of enjoyment or appreciation; I was starting to realise why I couldn't remember the existence of this 2010 album. The third and final time I played the album, I had to concede defeat. The reason I couldn't recall this album's existence is because it, sadly, isn't very memorable. Compared with Gough's earlier work, the whole platter of songs on offer had very little flavour and, it can easily be said, this is by far his least accomplished album so far.

It's not that there is anything awful or offensive on the album, indeed, if you put this on as background music then it would make a pleasant backdrop to do other things to, but it does commit the crime of being rather dull and ordinary. I would struggle to pick out more than one single highlight (the pretty, wintry What Tomorrow Brings) which, given the many moments of musical joy Badly Drawn Boy has been responsible for throughout his career and his talent for witty, engaging lyrics, is a real disappointment. This was supposed to be the first in a trilogy of albums, yet the fact that albums two and three have yet to appear is quite telling. Disc two of my limited edition copy of this album is a sound collage formed from the album by Andy Votel and, whilst it isn't terrible, I have to say that it is something I will never listen to again and nineteen-and-a-half minutes of my life I will never get back. It doesn't endear the album to me any more, either. No, unfortunately, even as a Badly Drawn Boy fan, I honestly cannot draw any other conclusion that this is Gough's weakest album by a wide margin. If you were interested in discovering Badly Drawn Boy's music, I would advise you to listen to this record last of all.
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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 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.
4 people found this helpful
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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 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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on 17 September 2014
Not bad.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 8 October 2010
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.
11 people found this helpful
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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.
5 people found this helpful
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