It's been about three years since Damon Gough released any new material, so it was a little disappointing to see that his new album was a soundtrack for/inspired by the new Caroline Aherne co-penned feature-length drama "The Fattest Man In Britain", however, any disappointment I felt soon dissipated when I listened to the album. Although this is, by far, the most consistently mellow piece of work Badly Drawn Boy has ever released, it is a thoroughly beautiful and extremely pleasing album, comprised of "proper" songs and incidental music/spoken word snippets from the TV drama. This soundtrack is very one-paced and you won't hear any of the pure energy found in Damon's earlier work, but that isn't necessarily a negative as there is something quite modestly grand about the whole project. There are numerous highlights; the title track is simply lovely, albeit a little sad, "Welcome To Your World" builds up to a powerful refrain and "Just Look At Us Now" is just radiating fragile beauty.
Although those are my personal highlights, the album is very good in its entirety (especially given the concept) and the sound is, on the whole, built around picked and strummed acoustic guitars, gentle, muted pianos and finished by masterful touches of brass and strings. This accomplished and mature work won't disappoint any existing fans of Badly Drawn Boy and may even be giving hints as to his future direction. If this is the case, by the music found on this soundtrack, we could be looking forward to something rather special from Damon in the next few years. I certainly hope so. On a side-note, I wasn't planning on watching the "The Fattest Man In Britain", but this album has got me intrigued, primarily because the snippets of dialogue on this album sound as if it could be very good. I hope it's worthy, because the soundtrack is mostly excellent and it deserves a well-written drama to be associated with.