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Badly Drawn Boy - About A Boy

  by Mark Rowland

published: 12 / 4 / 2002

Badly Drawn Boy - About A Boy
Label: Twisted Nerve
Format: CD


New album of music by Badly Drawn Boy , written especially for the film adaptation of Nick Hornby's bestseller ,proves to be "one of the only soundtrack albums that it is actually easy to like"

This new release from Badly Drawn Boy isn't the follow-up to the critically acclaimed Mercury prize winning 'The Hour of the Bewilderbeast', but is instead an album of music written especially for the film adaptation of Nick Hornby's bestseller 'About a Boy', starring Hugh Grant. The thought of this is probably enough to put you off this release, but please try and see past that. In fact, it's nice to see a soundtrack album that is comprised of songs that actually relate to the film, rather than a compilation of past hits of a bunch of nu-metal nobodies (American films), or a bunch of unbelievably dull old indie bands (British films). Recorded in LA with Tom Rothrock, who has worked as a producer with Beck and Elliot Smith amongst others, this soundtrack could easily have been released on it's own without any film connections. Any one worried that the influence of the film might cause this album to sound just like any other old film score, in the same way that the majority of REM's attempt at the 'Man on the Moon' soundtrack turned out, should not fear. Although this album utilises strings and other orchestral instruments that "The Hour of the Bewilderbeast' did not, it is still Badly Drawn Boy at his best. Guitar-led vocal tracks like 'Above You, Below me', and 'River-Sea-Ocean' rub shoulders with instrumental snippets like 'Dead Duck' and 'Wet, Wet, Wet', both of which have delicate little piano hooks and last about 40 seconds, 'S.P.A.T' is a somewhat lengthier and surprisingly funky instrumental, that is driven by squelching electronic basslines and beats, and organic brass. Similarly-styled beats also turn up on fellow instrumentals 'Rachel's Flat' and 'Delta(Little Boy Blues)'  The superb single 'Silent Sigh', with it's great piano hook and strained vocals, of course, is present here, but it doesn't stand out above the other tracks, like the singles on most soundtracks do. One of the best tracks here is the simplest by far. 'A Minor Incident' is just the Boy's voice, an acoustic guitar, and a harmonica, and it is a fantastic folky little number, vaguely reminiscent of Bob Dylan's early works. This isn't just an album for die-hard Badly Drawn Boy fans, but also passing fans of the Boy's work, who've never really had the chance to get hold of 'The Hour of the Bewilderbeast'. Along with the 'Natural Born Killers' soundtrack, this is one of the only soundtrack albums that it is actually easy to like.

Track Listing:-
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 NYE
7 Silent Sigh
8 Wet, Wet, Wet
9 River Sea Ocean
11 Rachel's Flat
12 Walking Out Of Stride
13 File Me Away
14 A Minor Incident
15 Delta (Little Boy Blues)
16 Donna And Butzon

Have a Listen:-

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