Badly Drawn Boy’s 2000 debut album, The Hour of the Bewilderbeast, remains a remarkable collection of baroque pop and acoustic loveliness with a level of quality that Damon Gough sadly hasn’t approached since.
Admittedly, I haven’t kept up with everything he’s released over the past 17 years (which includes a couple of movie soundtracks and five more studio albums) but the few I do have pale in comparison to this beauty of an album.
One of the hazards of Random Weekends is that you can wind up with a snippet of a song that doesn’t work out of context.
Such is the case with today’s SOTD, ‘I Was Wrong,’ by Badly Drawn Boy. This minute-long track segues into its companion song, ‘You Were Right,’ which I featured on the blog more than five years ago.
Badly Drawn Boy is another artist — like Jude and Jump, Little Children on recent Random Weekends — who once upon a time seemed like somebody who might be a long-time favorite.
His first album, The Hour of the Bewilderbeest, was a left-field surprise, marrying solid pop hooks to sonic experimentation and a poetic sensibility. His soundtrack for About a Boy captured the film’s tone and featured a couple of memorable singles.
Once upon a time, I thought Badly Drawn Boy would become one of my very favorite artists. The band (which is actually just one guy, Damon Gough) put out a beautiful meandering album in 2000 called The Hour of Bewilderbeast. It’s not quite like any other album I’ve heard, full of sonic detours and recurring themes, alternately delicate and hard-driving.
He followed that album in 2002 with the soundtrack to About a Boy, which contained a few memorable songs, and in the same year Have You Fed the Fish?, an album similar in style to his debut if not quite up to its level. A strong start, to be certain.