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Badly Drawn Boy — Born in the U.K. (October 17, 2006)

Badly Drawn Boy — Born in the U.K. (October 17/31, 2006)

  Badly Drawn Boy — Born in the U.K. (October 17/31, 2006)
♠♦  English singer–songwriter Damon Gough has been a popular exponent of low–fi indie since his 2000 debut. The Hour of the Bewilderbeast won Mercury Prize in 2000.
Born: October 2, 1969 in Dunstable, Lancashire
Location: Bolton, Greater Manchester ~ Manchester, England ~ London, UK 
Album release: October 17/31, 2006
Record Label: EMI/Twisted Nerve Records/Astralwerks (US)
Duration:     52:12 + DVD
01 Intro/Swimming Pool Part 1     1:33  
02 Born In The UK     2:35  
03 Degrees Of Separation     4:18  
04 Welcome To The Overground     3:24  
05 Journey From A To B     3:45  
06 Nothing’s Gonna Change Your Mind     5:21  
07 Promises     5:07  
08 The Way Things Used To Be     4:47  
09 Without A Kiss     5:31  
10 The Long Way Round     3:54  
11 Walk You Home     3:46  
12 The Time Of Times     3:19  
13 One Last Dance     4:52
Disc: 2
  1. Documentary — DVD
  2. Born In The U.K. (video) — DVD
  3. The Time Of Times (acoustic) — DVD
  4. Journey From A to B (rehearsal) — DVD
  5. Welcome To The Overground (instrumental rehearsal) — DVD
  6. Born In The UK (acoustic) — DVDBadly Drawn Boy — Born in the U.K. (October 17/31, 2006)Credits:
♠   Andy Caine Vocals
♠   Nick Franglen Ambience, Audio Production, Drum Programming, Keyboards, Mixing, Producer, Stylophone, Synthesizer
♠   Damon Gough Instrumentation, Various Instruments, Vocals
♠   Cameron Jenkins Audio Engineer, Engineer, Mixing
♠   Bob Marsh Flugelhorn
♠   Sean McCann Bass, Guitar (Bass)
♠   Norman McLeod Slide Guitar
♠   Tim Parry Management
♠   Alex Thomas Drums, Percussion
♠   Terri Walker Vocals
Editorial Reviews
Product Description
♠   Damon Gough, the British singer/songwriter known as Badly Drawn Boy, will release his fifth studio album, “Born in the U.K.,” via Astralwerks. Working with more than 60 demos, Gough eventually wound up making an album quite different than he’d originally planned. The 13–track “Born in the U.K.” offers a much fuller sound than its predecessor, 2004’s “One Plus One Equals One.” “(That album) was very introverted,” he said. “I think this is more accessible, a bit more mainstream. I never use choruses that people could sing along to. But my personal challenge was to make something that could be accepted in a wider fan base.”Amazon.com
♠   With a new record label behind him and his most elaborate and pop–oriented backing music to date, Damon Gough a.k.a. Badly Drawn Boy tackles the subject of his youth in the United Kingdom on this quasi–concept record. The album, which was completely recorded twice, is clearly a watershed moment for Gough, whose lyrics about his native land are often enough unapologetically proud. With more than a little nod to Bruce Springsteen, Gough covers the ‘70s and ‘80s in his own country: the Silver Jubilee, nuclear fear, the Falklands War, and everything in between — all in a highly personal way. The piano plus backing band effect at times recalls Billy Joel and Ben Folds. “Welcome to the Overground,” with its big, sunshine rainbow backing chorus and piano–driven groove, seems like a lead song from a ‘70s rock opera about one of the disciples, or some lost Up With People! song. Other tunes, such as “Walk You Home,” have an almost yacht–rock sheen to them. Overall, when it doesn’t allow sentiment to bleed into overt sentimentality, Born in the U.K. is a moving, cinematic effort. — Mike McGonigalAllMusic Review by Heather Phares;  Score:  ♠♠♠
♠   After a bout with writer’s block left most of what would have been the fifth Badly Drawn Boy album on the scrap heap, Damon Gough regrouped by writing a set of songs inspired by growing up in the United Kingdom. The results are Born in the U.K., an album that, of course, nods to Bruce Springsteen’s rousing–yet–searching Born in the U.S.A. (the Boss is also thanked in the liner notes), but also feels like it’s trying to win — and impress — as big an audience as possible. At times, Born in the U.K. is impressive, but not necessarily with its most ambitious moments. After the relatively restrained One Plus One Is One, Gough returns to the elaborate, heavily arranged sound of Have You Fed the Fish? for most of the album, and too often, his words and melodies end up drowning in their busy surroundings. “Nothing’s Gonna Change Your Mind” is a particularly unfortunate casualty, a song with good bones that’s done in by strings that are somehow massive and fussy at the same time. Meanwhile, “Welcome to the Overground,” with its huge choir and equally giant guitars and pianos, sounds like it was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber instead of Badly Drawn Boy. To be fair, Gough does harness the album’s widescreen sound effectively at times: “Degrees of Separation” is the closest Born in the U.K. comes to clearly elaborating on its concept, setting memories of the Thatcher era to rock that nods to “God Save the Queen,” both the national anthem and the punk anthem. “Journey from A to B” is another standout that makes the most of its Springsteen and Phil Spector homages. As the album unfolds, Gough seems to get his footing; it’s as though he spends the first half of the album trying to wow his audience but only proves impressive once he gets rid of the pretense. Enough of Born in the U.K.’s second half works well that it makes the album’s early missteps even more mystifying: “Walk You Home Tonight”’s hints of blue–eyed soul and Motown nail the sophisticated but accessible sound that Gough strains for in other places, as do “The Way Things Used to Be”’s slight country twang and “Long Way Round (Swimming Pool)”’s Burt Bacharach–style pop. Still, it’s more than a little odd that Gough keeps trying this grandiose direction, when the smaller, more idiosyncratic, far more personal sound of The Hour of Bewilderbeast and About a Boy won him fans in the first place. Even though Gough intended Born in the U.K. for a wider audience, it's likely that only the most devoted Badly Drawn Boy fans will enjoy — or have the patience for — the attempts at epics here. His voice and songwriting are so engaging that they don’t need to be propped up by impressive–seeming arrangements. As with Have You Fed the Fish? and One Plus One Is One, Born in the U.K. is at its best when Gough shares something personal, instead of writing for an audience of “everybody” that doesn’t actually exist. ♠   http://www.allmusic.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/badly_drawn_boy
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/badlydrawnboy
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/badlydrawnboyofficialBBC Review
Richard Banks
♠   In the summer of 2005, Damon Gough had a bit of a crisis. Despite having penned a score of new songs for his fifth LP with Stephen Street, a producer many musicians would give their left arm to work with, his heart just wasn’t in it. So the man in the hat ripped it all up and started again.
♠   Clearly, Badly Drawn Boy is a man ruled by his heart, and he’ll follow wherever it may lead. Eventually, it led him back home, to the things that he loves — his wife, his kids, and his roots. Hence the focus of Born In The U.K. and its Springsteen–esque title track, on which BDB pays homage to the best of Blighty (‘Life On Mars’, the Sex Pistols, Margaret Thatcher). But the influence of The Boss runs deeper here than just the titular pun. ‘If we still don’t have a plan,’ Gough sings on album closer ‘One Last Dance’, ‘we’ll just listen to  ‘Thunder Road’”.
♠   Clearly, the Boy’s been listening hard. Springsteen’s confident songsmithery resonates throughout, making this Gough’s most contented and least introspective album since his Mercury–winning debut. In fact, only on the overblown romp ‘Welcome To The Overground’ does he put a foot wrong.
♠   ‘Time Of Times’, on the other hand, is a real pleasure. Tipping its hat gently at fan favourite, ‘The Shining’, it encapsulates in three charming minutes everything that Brits have come to love about the bearded one. Long may he reign. — Richard Banks
Chart positions:
♠   Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders) #95
♠   Belgian Alternative Albums (Ultratop Flanders) #95
♠   French Albums (SNEP) #200
♠   Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan) #46
♠   UK Albums (OCC) #17Warm sun pours over me :: Badly Drawn Boy live in San Francisco, 3/23/07
Great American Music Hall
San Francisco, March 23, 2007
≡   Today I am very excited about this fantastic show from Damon Gough, aka the perpetually stocking–capped Badly Drawn Boy, at the Great American Music Hall (love it) in San Francisco from a few weeks ago. I was actually supposed to see BDB a few days prior to this show up in Boulder and I totally goofed it and went out of town that weekend instead. I felt like an absolute dolt when I remembered ex post facto, and after hearing this I am kicking myself anew.
≡   This is a trademark extra–long, gorgeous set from a talented and multifaceted musician. If you haven’t become familiar with Badly Drawn Boy (who has this kind of childishly–odd emo moniker, but you can ignore that and just call him Damon if it makes it easier for you to give him the props he deserves) — this is your chance.
≡   BDB music is complex and literate; finely–woven pop songs that incorporate acoustic guitar, piano, strings, harmonica, even some attempts at whistling. You may also remember that Gough also scored the film adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel About A Boy, and he includes three songs from that album in this set (including the wonderful “Silent Sigh”).
≡   He has an impeccable ear for unforgettable melodies that get under my skin and etch themselves in my memory. They are the sort of dense, truthful songs that I could see soundtracking my life if I could play them on a loop to overlay my quotidian activities. I would feel much more meaningful with this stuff scoring my day. But as Damon sings in the bittersweet You Were Right, “songs are never quite the answer, just a soundtrack to a life that is over all too soon.”
≡   As likely to insert a snippet of Springsteen (“Thunder Road” at the beginning of the lovely “Walk You Home Tonight”) as he is to check Journey (a perfect choice of a closing tune once the bar has closed and everyone really just wants to sing along), Gough’s musical influences traverse a wide and rich landscape.
≡   This set is stuffed with gems and engaging conversation with Damon and the audience. Damon says that “this whole tour’s been one of the best tours I’ve ever been involved in,” and that he is dedicating his shows lately to his grandfather who passed away in March, as a celebration of his life. A celebration indeed, this is one of the loveliest shows I’ve listened to in a long time and it makes me wish I could keep my concert dates straight and not be so daft. Grrr.♠   Time of Times
♠   Journey from A to B
♠   Degrees of Separation
♠   Born in the UK (title track from his new album)
♠   Further I Slide
♠   Nothing’s Gonna Change Your Mind
♠   Welcome to the Overground (instrumental)
♠   A Minor Incident
♠   The Shining
♠   Once Around the Block
♠   Don’t Ask Me, I’m Only the President
♠   This is That New Song
♠   Above You, Below Me
♠   What is it Now
♠   The Way Things Used to Be
♠   I Love You All
♠   All Possibilities
♠   Without A Kiss
♠   Walk You Home Tonight
♠   Promises
♠   Like a Virgin -> Silent Sigh
♠   You Were Right
♠   One Last Dance
♠   I Want You Back (Jackson 5 cover)
♠   Donna and Blitzen
♠   Don’t Stop Believing (Journey cover)
♠   http://www.fuelfriendsblog.com/_____________________________________________________________

Badly Drawn Boy — Born in the U.K. (October 17, 2006)