- Released: January 5, 2004
- Label: XL Recordings
Rolling Stone - 5/9/02, p.723.5 out of 5 stars
- "...Gough's greatest strength is how calm and assured his voice and melodies are....You can tell he wanted to guild a grand orchestral-pop monument..."
Entertainment Weekly - 5/3/02, p.87
"...A mix of songs and themes balancing obsessive craft with flippant style..." - Rating: B+
Q - 12/02, p.65
Included in Q Magazine's "The 50 Best Albums of 2002."
Q - 4/02, pp.106-74 out of 5 stars
- "...Original and gladdening music..."
Alternative Press - 7/02, pp.76-78 out of 10
- "...A solid set of songs..."
CMJ - 4/22/02, p.4
"...The CD is split between completely songs and fleeting instrumentals, all of it laced with that big-screen vibe..."
Mojo (Publisher) - April 2002, p.108
"...Lush real strings and the familiar one-take roughness....milkman-friendly classics all..."
NME (Magazine) - 4/6/02, p.348 out of 10
- "...At its best, it wears its misery with a casual wryness, breezy instrumentation blowing away the sad cobwebs....eminently listenable yet deceptively gentle..."
- 1.Exit Stage Right
- 2.A Peak You Reach
- 3.Something to Talk About
- 4.Dead Duck
- 5.Above You, Below Me
- 6.I Love N.Y.E.
- 7.Silent Sigh
- 8.Wet, Wet, Wet
- 11.Rachel's Flat
- 12.Walking Out of Stride
- 13.File Me Away
- 14.A Minor Incident
- 15.Delta (Little Boy Blues)
- 16.Donna & Butzon
Music composed by Badly Drawn Boy aka Damon Gough.
Producers: Tim Rothrock, Badly Drawn Boy.
Personnel: Damon Gough (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, strings, flute, harmonica, French horn, horns, piano, celesta, Fender Rhodes piano, keyboards, synthesizer, xylophone, triangle, percussion, bells, background vocals); Mike Brenner (lap steel guitar); London Metropolitan Orchestra (strings); Jeff Big Dad Turmes (saxophone); Jon Brion (chamberlin, vibraphone); Stephen McLaughlin (keyboards); Pete Thomas , Joey Waronker (drums); Sharon Celani, Ashley Arrison, Gia Ciambotti (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Tom Rothrock.
Recording information: Cello Studios; Larrabee East; Third Stone Recording.
Editor: Jesus "Chuy" Flores.
Arranger: Suzie Katayama.
What's a budding musical genius to do in the pent-up lull between albums? Mercury Prize-winning singer-songwriter Badly Drawn Boy (nee Damon Gough), in his spare time between heralded debut THE HOUR OF BEWILDERBEEST, and a follow-up to be released later in 2002, approached the filmmakers adapting Nick Hornby's acclaimed novel ABOUT A BOY about the soundtrack for the film starring Hugh Grant. There's no question to the logic of the combination as Gough's sublimely literate, disaffected yet still charmingly breezy pop music fits the story of life's apparent losers at two stages of life, one an apathetic womanizer approaching his 40s, the other a bullied misfit boy passing into his teens, between whom an unlikely friendship ensues.
A folky singer/songwriter scoring songs to help set the tone of a movie about unlikely friendship could stir up memories of Cat Stevens's unreleased soundtrack for "Harold & Maude," a fair enough assessment. In a similar fashion (but in its own way), Badly Drawn Boy's take on ABOUT A BOY weaves a mournful, yet upbeat tapestry drawing from its source material while managing to enrich the story itself. There are even some pop megahit hooks such as in the rolling "Silent Sigh" and in the head-bobbing, ostensible theme song "Something To Talk About."