Rocks In The Attic #236: Badly Drawn Boy – ‘About A Boy (O.S.T.)’ (2002)

RITA#236I love this. I was a fan of Badly Drawn Boy before Damon Gough’s debut, The Hour Of Bewilderbeast came out, and when that album was eventually released – to much acclaim – I was slightly disappointed that it didn’t follow through on the promises made on his early EPs and singles.

I disliked Bewilderbeast so much when it came out that I started to lose interest (even though I still bought all the 7” and 10” singles that were released off that album).  I think I bought the soundtrack to About A Boy, his sophomore effort, to give him one last chance. I’m glad I made that decision, as this is a modern classic.

I remember reading in the music press about this album before its release. A lot was said of the similarities of this to Simon & Garfunkel’s soundtrack to The Graduate – but I always put that down to the fact that it’s simply a film soundtrack put together by acoustic-based folk musicians, nothing more and nothing less.

This soundtrack avoids the usual pitfalls because it’s essentially one artist’s voice. Sometimes soundtracks built around one particular artists will jar slightly if their material is then complimented by orchestral score or similarly unrelated instrumental and incidental music. Here, Badly Drawn Boy’s songs fit perfectly with the shorter instrumental pieces that he also created for the film. It therefore doesn’t sound like you’re listening to a soundtrack (in fact, some of the more disjointed, bizarre moments of The Hour of Bewilderbeast make that first album sound more like what you would expect from a film soundtrack).

I’m not sure why, but this was the last Badly Drawn Boy album that I bought. Even though I think it’s firmly the stronger of his first two albums, I then didn’t bother to check out album number three, or beyond. Perhaps I didn’t want to be disappointed as this promised so much.

Hit: Something To Talk About

Hidden Gem: A Peak You Reach

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2 thoughts on “Rocks In The Attic #236: Badly Drawn Boy – ‘About A Boy (O.S.T.)’ (2002)

  1. Matthew Gibson

    Bewilderbeast is better than you give it credit for. I think that this is pretty poor as an album myself, although Silent Sigh is a cracker. His first four proper albums are much better than this. I even like One Plus One is One and Born in the UK better, even if they’re considered the worst.
    In the end though, he’s just not all that good and I wonder if I’d listen to him at all if I wasn’t from Manchester.

    Oh, and somehow I’ve managed to have never heard those first eps. No idea how.

    Reply
  2. mrjohnnyandrews Post author

    It might be because I already knew half the material on Bewilderbeast by the time it came out, so to me it only sounds like half an album.

    Those EPs are real collectors items, like 500 or 1000 printed.

    Reply

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