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69 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Startling Debut!
The first album by Badly Drawn Boy has been released amidst much hype--and believe me the hype is well founded. Badly Drawn Boy is basically the brainchild of Damon Gough from Manchester,England.The early e.p.'s showed great promise,and this promise has come to fruition on an album of startling variety. The influence of sixties folk musician Nick Drake seems to be all...
Published on July 2, 2000 by Ian Creamer

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good - but why all the hype?
Well, my roommate and I have finally agreed upon an album we both like, with this decent debut from Badly Drawn Boy. She adores it, but I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. After all the hype that seemed to surround this record, I was expecting something revolutionary - or at least evolutionary. Rather, it plays like a typical British pop record. The Beatles,...
Published on February 2, 2001 by Laurie Marie


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69 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Startling Debut!, July 2, 2000
By 
Ian Creamer (Dublin,Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Hour of Bewilderbeast (Audio CD)
The first album by Badly Drawn Boy has been released amidst much hype--and believe me the hype is well founded. Badly Drawn Boy is basically the brainchild of Damon Gough from Manchester,England.The early e.p.'s showed great promise,and this promise has come to fruition on an album of startling variety. The influence of sixties folk musician Nick Drake seems to be all the rage at the moment.When the first notes of the first song 'The Shining' are struck I was expecting a c.d. of 18 mellow tracks.It starts off with a gentle cello-horn instrumental,then Gough adds some vocals to this beautifully mellow opening.Then track 2-'Everybody's Stalking' changes the mood totally,as it's driven by a ferocious bass line and it doesn't half rock!This is the magic of this c.d.,Gough has the ability to change the sound,the influence,the mood with consumate ease.Another example of this comes at track 8-'Body Rap' which sounds like one of those Beastie Boy,D.J. Shadow instrumental interludes.This leads straight into 'Once Around The Block' a gentle r/b piece,complete with wah-wah guitars,Blues lead guitar and excellent harmonious vocals.You may think all this mish mash of influences may make the c.d. very disjointed-but somehow it all seems to fit together perfectly.The title track,song 11-Bewilderbeast is wonderful in that it brings all these sounds together on one amazing track.Track 12 'Magic In The Air' is a haunting,melancholic ballad,with piano and guitar the backdrop for Gough's excellent vocals.Track 14 has a definite country feel to it.Track 16-'Disillusion' has a real seventies feel to it-with a sound that isn't to far removed (instrumentally) from The Doobie Brother's. 18 tracks may seem quite alot for any c.d.-especially a debut,but there are no obvious weak songs at all.I have to say it's an incredibly ambitious debut but it is one that shows the work of a very talented musician and song-writer.Finally this c.d. deserves to do really well and I would certainly reccomend it to lovers of good quality music.
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54 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars sloppy, but worthwhile, December 29, 2000
This review is from: The Hour of Bewilderbeast (Audio CD)
After the first listen, Badly Drawn Boy's The Hour Of Bewilderbeast could easily be construed as Badly Done Beck. Cynics would say that Damon Gough owes a heck of a lot to American indie artists like Beck, Lou Barlow, and Mark Eitzel, and his lo-fi style is about six years too late. Overflowing with kooky combinations of instruments, studio effects, and lyrics that beat the listener over the head with wide-eyed charm and precociousness (much like being pummeled by Nerf balls), it's easy to get lost in this cd, which at first sounds like a big old mess (that jumbled feel of the record is conveyed on the collage album cover).
But then it gets its hooks in you. Underneath all the home studio knob-twiddling are some real pop-rock treasures. 'The Shining', which has been used in a well-known Gap Christmas ad, beats Belle & Sebastian at their own game; while the Scottish collective failed to live up to their early promise this year, Gough has created a gorgeous acoustic song with a string section enhancing the gentle, Nick Drake-like melody. 'Everybody's Stalking' takes a darker turn, while 'Stone On The Water''s acoustic guitar riff sounds lifted straight off Led Zeppelin III. The title track is a nice instrumental, while 'Magic In The Air' is so Stephen Merrit-like in its pop deftness that you swear you've heard the song before, it sounds that comfortably familiar.
Bewilderbeast's best songs are its three singles. 'Another Pearl' sports a slinky piano melody over an irresistable three-chord riff while Gough sings some of the more inexplicably pretentious lyrics you'll hear this year ("Follow the circle sur le plage/On a mono-coloured trip voyage"). Speaking of irresistable, nothing beats 'Once Around The Block', easily the catchiest song on the album; the 'doo-boo-doo-ba-da-da' chorus over the shuffling beat makes this one of the sweetest songs you'll ever hear. 'Disillusion', recorded with fellow UK mates Doves, is a bouncy tune that is also fun to listen to.
Being such an ambitious record, Bewilderbeast has both hits and misses. The (thankfully) brief 'Body Rap' is idiotic and useless, while 'Fall In A River' starts off nicely but stops suddenly with a big kersploosh sound effect (get it? *groan*...). 'Cause A Rockslide' is a pretty song, but it has several minutes of overbearing studio noodling that tries your patience.
On an album like this, in the end you giddily take the good with the bad. Damon Gough swings for the fences repeatedly, and while he doesn't connect every time, his successes more than make up for it. I reacted indifferently to the album at first, but now I love it. Badly Drawn Boy is far better than being just the Next Beck, and his future recordings will only get better.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Style, Great Music., January 27, 2002
This review is from: The Hour of Bewilderbeast (Audio CD)
There is a certain charm about Badly Drawn Boy's music that makes this album so enjoyable. It's hard to even pinpoint what that is, but you'll notice it very quickly upon listening to Damon Gough's "The Hour of Bewilderbeast."
Picture a more modern Nick Drake with a sense of humor. The first track called "The Shining" is a prime example of this. The folk feel is present from the beginning. It's very good I might add. The second song picks up the pace a bit. It's a perfect pop song that is sure to make you feel really good inside. Heck, most of the songs on this album will make you feel good inside. Again, they all have a certain charm that just makes you want to listen more.
"Camping Next To Water" to me signifies exactly what the album is about. It has everything. Not to mention, it's one of my favorite songs on the album. "Body Rap" gives us a bit of funky hip-hop folk. It's only 45 seconds and is a great piece of music to break the album in half. Next comes the first single off the album. "Once Around the Block" is probably the most fluid song on the album. It also happens to be one of the catchiest songs here. The video is great. It's about two teenagers who go on a date and end up getting stuck together at the braces when they finally decide to kiss for the first time.
One of my other favorite songs on the album is the song called "Pissing in the Wind." Although it has funny lyrics, it really has the most beautiful music. It has a very hard underlying country feel. It's very reminiscent of early Bob Dylan with the ever-popular harmonica. It's the type of song you would want to put in your car stereo and drive down a dirt road to. Gough pulls it off perfectly. I would love to be able to write a song like this. How great would that be?
Get this album. I'm sure you'll like it. It's just a feel good record. You can't help but feel optimistic with music like this. It's a vehicle for how good life can potentially be. With the exception of a few boring moments, this was probably one of the best releases of 2000. I've had it now for about a year and still enjoy it as much as I did the first time I heard it.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb debut album from Badly Drawn Boy, August 6, 2000
By 
This review is from: The Hour of Bewilderbeast (Audio CD)
I'm sure the fact that he's signed to The Prodigy's ultra cred XL Recrdings label will put him in the same folk-music-that's-Ok-for-clubbers catagory as Beth Orten, and that's really no bad thing, but don't expect to find any loud breakbeats or 'Smack my Beast Up' samples. I've tried explaing what his style is comparable to to friends, and the best I've got yet is an amalgamation of the Beatles' White Album, Nick Drake's pastoral acoustics, a touch of Primal Scream (Fall into a River), a healthy dollop of Money Mark-esque eccentricity sprinkled generously with flakes of Travis. I heard his 'Once Around the Block' single ages ago, and I was glad he chose to include it here as it's one of the best tunes on the album. Definately worth a listen.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Postmodern folk at its quirkiest and most beautiful, April 7, 2001
By 
Michael Paulsen (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Hour of Bewilderbeast (Audio CD)
4 1/2 stars, rounding up to 5 for the benefit of this amazing album by multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter Damon Gough aka Badly Drawn Boy. THE HOUR OF BEWILDERBEAST is essentially a folk-rock album for the 21st century -- quirky, experimental and fragmented but seasoned with gorgeous hooks throughout. With an array of instruments (many played by Damon himself) including cello, vibraphone, french horn, slide guitar, organ and a garnish of sound FX, this is not your parents' (or grandparents as the case may be) folk music, nor is it quite "slacker folk". While the production is lazy and lo-fi, it is also perfectly suited to this album. BEWILDERBEAST is banquet of melodies and styles thrown into a blender: single-worthy songs like "Everybody's Stalking" and the delicious r&b funk of "Disillusion" (like a lost 70's gem wafting in from some AM radio station), "Stone on the Water" (starts off like a Philip Glass chamber quartet gone flamenco evolving into a beautiful, acoustic "Michelle"-esque song), "Once Around the Block" (alt-rock swing and bubblegum bebop ... imagine that!), "Magre in the Air" (a mid-70s Todd Rundgren or Jeff Lynne outtake, anyone?), "Pissing in the Wind" (alt-country) or "Say It Again" which combines eastern melodies with dixieland jazz and Kurt Weill-ish cabaret! If this sounds amazing to you ... believe me it is!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is my favorite album ever--and that's saying something., February 16, 2005
This review is from: The Hour of Bewilderbeast (Audio CD)
To me, it doesn't get any better than this collection of music. It's not even perfect, but that's part of what makes it perfect. My favorite songs in the world on this album, and I always keep coming back to it. The best of the best:

1. Once Around the Block (Track 9)--It's the best song I've ever heard, and it has been for about 5 years. Just put it on, turn it up, and let it surround you. Then take a left, a sharp left, and another left, and listen again.

2. Camping Next to Water (Track 5)--This one's melancholy and full of soul. Great to listen to on a grey day.

3. The Shining (Track 1)--Okay, listen to this one on a sunny day!--(or any day actually). Badly Drawn Boy just does whatever he wants with my emotions, and with this one, he makes me very happy.

4. Cause a Rockslide (Track 13)--The steady bass drum makes this one glide, and don't miss the "in-between" track at the very end.

5. Magic in the Air (Track 12)--Oh so sweet...without getting sappy somehow. It's like a an old-fashioned romance movie as opposed to a romantic-comedy.

6. Pissing in the Wind (Track 14)--This one has some twang to it, which I love. Also some great vocals, and I'll take anything with some harmonica!

7. Stone on the Water (Track 6)--Very smooth. Creates this delightfully eerie mood.

And the rest of the songs are equally fulfilling if not as masterful as these seven.

In another of his songs (from the "Live at Glastonbury" bootleg CD), "Sha La La", Badly Drawn Boy says, "Slick, sugar-sweet candy beats and some words that rhyme." And that's what he's done on this album. Sounds so easy anyone could do it. But he does it best.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It 's all about the melodies...., February 21, 2001
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Hour of Bewilderbeast (Audio CD)
Firstly, Badly Drawn Boy is really Damon Gough of Manchester, UK with some help from various friends.
I really would like to give this album 5 stars. I had heard about half of the album before actually buying it, and all of those songs could be rated a "10". Songs like "The Shining", "Everybody's Stalking" "Once Around The Block", "Fall In A River", "Magic In The Air", "Cause A Rockslide" and "Disillusion" are spectacular pop gems. All are infected with hummable melodies that stay with you for weeks. The other tracks are also very good but may take some extra plays to really hit the listener with the same effect.
Four songs to take note of are:
"Once Around The Block", the song that is probably getting the most mention. It's a track that seems to have a flavor of being played by a street band, with twangy and jazzy guitars and a lot of backing vocals and shuffles along in a sort of "fast waltz-time". Awesome melody.
"Magic In The Air" a wonderfully bittersweet melody, drenched in acoustic guitar and rich piano.
"Disillusion", a song that seems so authentically set in the '70s that you'll get flashbacks of "Three's Company", Evil Knieval action figures, Trans Ams, "Starsky&Hutch", and "Saturday Night Fever" memories. A lot of fun to listen to though!
But the album's peak moment is the great second track, the slow, dark funk of "Everybody's Stalking", which cops a lyric from Bruce Springsteen, and has a cool guitar riff throughout the song.
There are also several short instrumental pieces that sort of act as "intervals" throughout. The album owes a lot to past pop giants like The Beatles and other folk artists. This album is deservedly getting much attention. In this music wasteland of over-exposed non-entity acts like LimpBizkit, Britney, Backstreet Boys, it's nice to hear some real songs for a change. If you like Beatles, Elliot Smith, et. al you'll love this album.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a WHOLE album, November 29, 2000
By 
E. B. Johnson "ebj3k" (Ukiah, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Hour of Bewilderbeast (Audio CD)
There are two new albums out right now that deviate from the norm. They are Radiohead's "Kid A," and Badly Drawn Boy's "The Hour Of Bewilderbeast." Don't get the wrong message and think these are similar sounding albums. They are not. They do, however, transcend the trends to create albums that are to be taken as a whole, rather than as singles. Bewilderbeast does have a few singles, but I recommend the album for several reasons:
1) It is good from beginning to end...
2) The short instrumentals are beautiful interludes that create a nice juxtaposition along-side some quietly rebellious guitar riffs.
3) The layers of this album are endless. I still look forward to pealing more away on rainy nights this Winter.
4) Some songs harkens back to the Beatles most creative albums. Hopefully, this will not scare you away. Damon Gough sounds like John Lennon at times, but the inventive flair promises to bring even more magic in future albums. Listen to this album, and you will here the promise.
5) There are few artists who write lyrics from the heart. To stay true to yourself and give yourself up to others in such a way is breathtaking. The last two artists to do this are Jeff Buckley on "Grace" and Kurt Cobain on "Nevermind."
Listen to the samples given here and decide for yourself. My one hesitancy about recommending this album is it's production. However, when I listen to it, I imagine I am overhearing someone playing music for themselves. I am a rat in the rafters of some old house hidden in the misty woods. The smell of mildew and wetness is not enough to make me leave, because the sweet sadness drifting through the house gives me a warmth I cannot find elsewhere.
hmnn...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really quite amazing..., July 15, 2000
By 
This review is from: Hour of Bewilderbeast (Audio CD)
Badly Drawn Boy has never even been mentioned in the American music press, however I was able to casually follow his career through foreign music magazines like Q and Select. I have a few of his early EPs and have totally enjoyed them but never really known what to make of them. The ones I own are primarily instrumental and grew somewhat old afterawhile. Needless to say I wasn't really sure what I would be getting when I picked up a copy of Badly Drawn Boy's first full length album while overseas. The hype in Europe has been significant so I was expecting a lot and was really surprised and pleased when I listened to the cd the first time. Badly Draw Boy is one of the few indie rock artists who is able to dabble with various styles without sounding contrived or simply bad. All of his eighteen tracks are quite amazing actually...mostly because each track varies so much from the ones before. At moments the album can border on convoluted, but all in all the final product is great. While the entire album will probably be filed under "creative britpop", it really should be cross filed with electronic folk. The sound could be compared to a hybrid of Beck and Travis...but that doesn't really totally explain it. The best way to understand the genious that is Badly Drawn Boy is to plop down the hefty fee for the import cd and play is over and over. This is one of those albums that grows on you with time and has enough variety to sustain a listener's interest throughout the duration of the entire cd. A must have for any major music fan.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Hope in music, November 26, 2001
By 
Kevin Parrish Claussen (Seattle, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Hour of Bewilderbeast (Audio CD)
Look out Beck and eat your heart out Bruce Springsteen, here is one seriously fantastic songwriter. This was the best album of 2000 in my opinion. Containing songs ranging from wooden(acoustic) and spare in style to lavishly fleshed out poppy numbers. The guy does it all, style wise, which makes him kind of like Beck minus the country music. If you like "brit pop" you will like this album. Stand out boogie worthy tracks are "Another Pearl", "Disillusion" and "Cause a Rockslide." For more somber moments try "Camping next to water" and "The Shining." "Say it again" has a great swagger of cool to it and will make you wanna wear drink a pint and smoke a fag in cool pants. There are quite a few instrumental interludes on the album that help tie it together and make it seem much bigger than it is. I look forward to his soundtrack for the "About a boy" movie next year. Basically this guy is the bomb and you should get this album.
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The Hour of Bewilderbeast
The Hour of Bewilderbeast by Badly Drawn Boy (Audio CD - 2000)
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