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Badly Drawn Boy: About A Boy: Original Soundtrack


Badly Drawn Boy

Album: About A Boy: Original Soundtrack
Label: XL

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Pinned in by the necessities of a soundtrack, the second album from Badly Drawn Boy, the one-man band otherwise known as Damon Gough, almost can't help but fall short of the expectations raised by 2000's remarkable The Hour Of Bewilderbeast. If About A Boy, the soundtrack to the forthcoming film of the same name, doesn't quite have the anything-can-happen vibe of Bewilderbeast, it still reveals a remarkably gifted artist. On the instrumental tracks, Gough's approach to scoring most closely resembles that of RZA's work for Ghost Dog, not in sound but in philosophy. Using elements from outside the zone of traditional film scores, Gough creates an atmosphere, filling out guitar-based pop melodies with piano and strings. However inventive his cues, the vocal numbers provide the real attraction here. Like Elliott Smith, Gough has a voice that's at once arrestingly emotive and a little vague, summoning a mood difficult to define without music. That gift serves him well, whether he's working with the guitar and harmonica of "A Minor Incident" or the full pop scope of "Something To Talk About." About A Boy doesn't quite work as a proper Badly Drawn Boy album, and Gough has admitted as much, promising that Bewilderbeast's true follow-up will contain much more experimentation. About A Boy remains too dependent on the digressions required by the film for that. Its many fine moments make the pleasant asides sound more like distractions from the main event, one sure to be resumed with album number three.