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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

The Hour Of Bewilderbeast

Badly Drawn Boy

2000

Buy At Rough Trade
The Hour Of Bewilderbeast
Album Summary

The Hour of Bewilderbeast is the debut studio album by British musician Badly Drawn Boy, released on 26 June 2000. Damon Gough, who performs as Badly Drawn Boy, wrote, produced, and played several instruments on the album's eighteen tracks, several of which also feature accompaniment by members of the British indie rock bands Alfie and Doves. The Hour of Bewilderbeast was released to great critical acclaim and went on to win the 2000 Mercury Prize, and has sold 455,000 copies in the United Kingdom as of September 2011.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.18

Votes

10990
Genres
Pop
Rock

Reviews

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Sat Mar 13 2021
1

I just don’t get it? I don’t know what people hear in this album that I don’t? What is on here that makes anyone swoon on about it like it was their first born? The music is not groundbreaking or genre defining. It’s neither a breakout sound or mesmerising enough to keep me on high alert for the start of each track. It’s the same indie sound that blends each song into the other due to the nondescript style of the music. I tried listening to the most played track, according to Deezer, over and over hoping to catch a peek of what the cool kids were revelling in...I didn’t even get a glimpse. 1 Star!

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Thu Oct 14 2021
2

This album is no longer in the latest editions of the book, and I can't say I disagree.

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Thu Jun 24 2021
2

Well. That's just ... really boring, innit? Shame.

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Sat Oct 16 2021
5

I’m familiar with a little Badly Drawn Boy, but this is the first time hearing this album. Mostly gentle and pleasant - but never boring - with some darker undercurrents that occasionally bubble up to the surface. The songs have a way of being unique and quirky without crossing over into annoying. There’s a lot of cleverness in the arrangements and the lyrics. Some Highlights: “The Shining” features some great horns in the opening the turns to a really nice guitar song that builds the orchestra back by the finale. Really nice. “Camping Next To Water” seems to be about someone stranded in the woods alone living on fish. Really great song! “Once Around The Block” has a pleasant, quirky vibe - a fun listen. “Magic in the Air” was very a really nice love song that has just the right amount of sweetness. “Cause A Rockslide” is interesting with cool lyrics (“your sweetness would cause a rockslide”) and a trippy second half I enjoyed. “Pissing In The Wind” takes things in a country direction with fun lyrics and a shambly feel. It is probably my second favorite song on the album after… “Disillusion” is a groovy dance track with a great beat and rhythm section Great song - my favorite on the album. “Say It Again” has some more really clever lyrics. Great song that builds and builds as it goes - “dried up thoughts but my nose is runny.” Just when you think you have THE HOUR OF BEWILDERBEAST pinned down the album throws a curve ball into the music and/or lyrics. The surprises really work and never feel out of place (except maybe “This Song” on headphones). With each listen there’s something new to discover. Somehow Badly Drawn Boy weaves all these unique pieces together into a cohesive, enjoyable album.

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Fri Jan 14 2022
5

What an odd and lovely little album. There's so much great music, melody, instrumentation, and vocalization on this one. Lyrically intricate and poetic. Great mix of "chill" and energetic energy, dynamic in a way that's interesting and not jarring to listen to. Loved it.

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Sat Mar 12 2022
5

This is a hell of an album. I had forgotten just how good. The melodies come fast and furiously and with beauty a subtlety. The listener is required to wade through some studio trickery which almost but not quite distracts from the incredible songwriting. Allmusic.com references Harry Nilsson as his closest influence, frankly I don't here it; First of all Damon's voice is not like Nilsson's and I think of him more as an interpreter of other's material. I hear a lot of Beatles (think Sgt Pepper's) but what I really hear is Todd Rundgren, I think of THOTB as Something/Anything for the year 2000. A brilliant debut that does now and always will sound fresh. 5 🌟

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Sat Oct 22 2022
2

Here’s a good rule of thumb for a lot of these early 00’s albums (particularly the British indie ones) that the list curator loves to include: If you haven’t heard anyone talk about the band in 20 years, it’s probably safe to say that you don’t need to hear it before you die. This record plods along, doesn’t really offer anything revolutionary or particularly upbeat. It’s a bit depressing, innit? Like if Elliot Smith stole Radiohead’s lunch money. As a counterpoint to this record, I’ll offer up Grandaddy’s “The Sophtware Slump”, also from 2000. It’s a well engineered, experimental indie rock headphone album and at least Jason Lytle sounds like he [gasp] had a little fun making the record.

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

Me and my mate used to drink in the same pub him in Chorlton. He’s reyt grumpy when you ask him to song you a song. Indie!

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Wed Apr 21 2021
5

I know about Badly Drawn Boy from the About a Boy soundtrack- which I listened to pretty religiously for a while after I found it in a used CD store :). I hadn't heard this album but I like it too.

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Tue Feb 23 2021
5

Enormous discovery, I love it very much!!!!

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Sat Feb 13 2021
5

Very unique, thoroughly enjoyed

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Sat May 22 2021
5

never heard of the band, but I loved the songs and music.

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Sat Oct 16 2021
5

Someone included Once Around the Block on a mixtape for me a while back but that's all I know of Badly Drawn Boy. I've always liked Once Around the Block because it's in 3 and sometimes you just need a waltz so I'm interested. First track is called The Shining and I'm nervous. Oh, a cello. How lovely. And a French horn? Go on... O! It's about the sun! And it's pretty! I love it. Next song is Everybody's Stalking (good Midnight Cowboy/Nilsson reference) and I'm dancing at the bus stop! (Can't really understand the lyrics but they might be creepy since it's about stalking.) I love this one, too! Also on my love list are Pissing in the Wind, Say it Again, Epitaph, the disco sound of Disillusion, and Stone on the Water (another waltz). The piano at the beginning of Magic in the Air reminded me of Hard Candy Christmas from Best Little Whorehouse... This Song is very strange. I listened to it twice on speakers and would have absolutely believed it was Simon & Garfunkel. But then I was relistening on headphones on my walk home and thought I might be having a stroke. There is some very very strange (and off-putting) stereo effect happening there. I almost fell over. There are a few tracks on this long album that didn't do much for me but overall I really liked this and will listen again.

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Sun Oct 17 2021
5

This one is a classic for me.

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Fri Nov 26 2021
5

great album, still sounds fresh.

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Sun Feb 28 2021
2

Boring. Generic. Shouldn’t be on the list.

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Sat Mar 06 2021
2

Some good songs. Most not. Bit long, was bored by the end.

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Mon Oct 25 2021
2

This did nothing for me. Some parts were not too bad, but way too many songs were just boring.

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Tue Aug 02 2022
2

Just painfully boring - nothing about this is enthusiastic or exciting to listen to. Big snoozefest. 4/10.

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Mon Sep 26 2022
2

Was heading for a generous 3* but then went on for too long... inoffensive but bland

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Mon Aug 31 2020
5

Very peaceful album that has an awesome flow.

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Sun Sep 11 2022
5

An artist that has never come up on my radar, with an album of songs I don’t recognise. This is why I love the 1001 Album challenge (if you want to call it that). It’s allegedly one of the best albums ever created, and I’m going in clueless but optimistic - I like the album art. Songs I already know: none Favourite after listening: Bewilderbeast, Everybody’s Stalking Songs I disliked: This Song - the weird rapid panning between each earphone gave me a headache Overall: 9/10 This album was near perfect, and very much to my taste. It reminds me a lot of Eels and that’s definitely no bad thing. It’s the kind of album where if I was listening to it and somebody spoke to me, I would want to pause the music rather than talk over it. It’s so beautifully composed, and he has such a nice voice. 90’s alt music it always going to go down well with me, and I’m going to be coming back to this album a lot (except that one song). Edit: turns out it was released in 2000, so it’s technically not 90s alt, but definitely feels like it.

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Mon Apr 01 2024
5

5 OUT OF 5 Blown away by the quality of this record. How had I never heard of this?

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Fri Oct 09 2020
4

Pretty good. Will listen again. Fusion of a lot of genres folk-country, hip-hop, etc.

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Sat Mar 18 2023
4

You could throw the world's worst indie rock album at me, and I'd probably still give it like a 3/5. I'm a slut for whiny virgin music. I assume this guy is as well, because this album feels like somebody putting every single popular indie artist in a blender. It works better than I expected. I'd still much rather listen to actual Elliott Smith and Neutral Milk Hotel than the tracks on this album inspired by them, but it's a very pleasant collection of tunes. Some songs are huge. "Cause a Rockslide" especially sounded like the ADHD-ridden brain of somebody who's been trapped in the Shadow Indie Dimension for 7 years. I will now remind everybody that "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea" is not on this list.

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Tue May 30 2023
3

Le Badyl Drawn Boy s'en est pas trop mal sorti, et nous a offert un album agréable qui dénote très clairement avec toute la daube ambiante. Je n'ose d'ailleurs pas imaginer l'odeur dans la chambre de Robert.

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Tue May 30 2023
3

N'ayant plus aucun souvenir de cet album et accusant un retard d'une dizaine de critiques, j'ai ici reproduit ma technique consistant à réécouter cinq secondes au hasard et baser ma note celles-ci. Résultat de l'opération : deux-trois notes de piano et quelques percussions tardives. Un peu léger...

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Sat Apr 02 2022
2

I dont hate it but stuff like this is very hit or miss for me. I actually think that if I was in the right mood it could grow on me. It's an "I'm sorry" 2 for now with potential to be upgraded to a 3 maybe if I ever give this another go.

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Tue Jun 21 2022
2

I can get how other people could like this, but I really didn't.

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Mon Mar 14 2022
1

This fucking sucks and I hate it. I won’t mince words today or waste time trying to find merit where there is none.

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Wed Apr 21 2021
5

Once around the block is one of my favorite favorites. Never would’ve guessed the rest of his would be this good

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

Stone on the Water is great, mostly instrumental. Say it Again also good. This Song got annoying with the reverb, but it was short so it was fine. As an indie hipster, this is the kind of album I wish I could say I had found. Truly incredible.

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Sat Feb 06 2021
5

Takes me back to the days when I was selling wine in Carringtons. Love this album

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Wed Jan 27 2021
5

What a great vibe. Top notch album.

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Tue Aug 10 2021
5

No esperaba ni tantito de este disco: entre el nombre de la banda, la cara del tipo, la portada… Y la sorpresa fue que me empezó a gustar desde los 6 segundos cuando empieza a sonar un corno francés. Se me hace un disco que está muy bien producido y mezclado y lleno de detallitos en los instrumentos que le dan mucha profundidad. Quizá la canción en la que juega como idiota con el balance de lados (This Song) en el estereo podría caer mal, pero incluso dentro de eso siento que tiene un buen detalle, considerando que es 1999. Por otro lado, la canción que es totalmente instrumental (Bewilderbeast) me pareció genial, con sonidos que tienen algo de psicodelia, algo de pop, algo de todo. Para mí, un gran descubrimiento (porque solo conocía una rola que salía en el soundtrack the About A Boy) y lamento que, según lo que leo, esto es lo único decente que llegó a lanzar.

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Sat Oct 02 2021
5

British, 00s, Indie rock + Interesting, Still new, Various, Smth alternative, Right folk = Male, Long play - THIS SONG {6/18}

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Sat Oct 16 2021
5

The lead in cello and French horn put me under its spell! I really enjoyed the melodies and will add this to my listening library at least for the short term. Not sure it is a forever-love yet.

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Sun Nov 21 2021
5

spooky, like REALLY chill trap music

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Sat Dec 11 2021
5

One of my favourite albums ever. Often derided as indie dirge, but it really does touch me!

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Wed Jan 12 2022
5

I remember this and the Andy Votel mix of Round the Block! On relistening, it’s awesome. Rich, layered, complex, beautiful. I’ll definitely listen to this again.

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Fri Jan 14 2022
5

Man, that was nice. What an excellent piece of collected tunes I've literally never heard before. I loved the instrumentation. And consider looking up the contributing artists list if you ever get bored. More folks took part in this album that Band-Aid.

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Sun Jan 16 2022
5

Good album, unique songs bring a good vibe and bring back memories

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Mon Feb 21 2022
5

I am a fan of this one! Favorites: The Shining, Stone on the Water

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Mon Apr 18 2022
5

really pretty album, especially the nature songs.

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Mon Apr 18 2022
5

A bit disorienting times, but a really great listen. A bit of neutral milk hotel, a bit of nick drake, and a lot of fun!

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Wed May 11 2022
5

I'm not sure how to explain how much I liked this album. It is kind of weird in a very positive way, feels fresh and original. It has good music and a great flow. If you're into indie music, you'll enjoy it.

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Tue May 31 2022
5

That was actually really beautiful, I really loved that No complaints, just great indie, 10/10

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Sun Jun 12 2022
5

This was a surprising album given that I’ve never heard of either the album or the artist before but it was really solid. The shining and camping next to water were standouts. Second half I didn’t enjoy quite as much but giving it a 5 mainly just to remember it

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Tue Jun 21 2022
5

This one surprised me. It's never boring, and I like it a lot!

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Wed Jul 13 2022
5

I didn’t know what to expect from this album. I definitely didn’t expect to fall in love with it but here I am looking how to add it to my collection

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Thu Aug 18 2022
5

I don’t know how to classify any of this but I loved this album. Good find!

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Thu Sep 08 2022
5

Like the varied beats. Nice how the instruments cine in and fade out as do the vocals. Nice raw somewhat sometimes out of tune singer. Like to listen to this.

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Sat Oct 08 2022
5

This album goes through an impressive variety of styles while still maintaining depth. The instrumental tracks were my favorite. The only songs I did not like were the sappy alternative/singer-songwriter ones. Maybe that style was cool when it was still relatively new.

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Sun Nov 13 2022
5

Genuinely amazing. I didn’t like the vocals a ton everywhere, but the absolutely amazing instrumentation pulled it out anyway. I love this album.

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Sat Nov 19 2022
5

Great album! I loved it, only downside I could think of is that it's a little dragged out? 50 minutes would've been long enough. Great album anyways!

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Sat Dec 03 2022
5

loved this album when it came out so it was nice to listen to it again and to my surprise it's still very good.

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Sat Jan 21 2023
5

wow this was so good. A lots of types of songs. It was snowing and I was listening to this while driving in bus, great atmosphere!

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Sun Feb 26 2023
5

Absolutely excellent album. Beautiful, melodic, charming and fizzing with originality. One song to the next it’s an adventure. I adore this album. Could not recommend it more highly.

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Thu Mar 23 2023
5

This is fantastic, very Fleet Foxes vibe but kinda even better imo

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Sun Apr 16 2023
5

Очень крутой альбом, давно не слушал такую музыку, очень спокойный

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Wed Apr 19 2023
5

I don't understand what the fuck I'm listening to right now, but I like it very-very much.

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Thu May 04 2023
5

Easy 5/5!! One of my favorite albums of all time! This is just a perfect record!

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Wed Aug 30 2023
5

Jaw dropping. Reminds me of Wildflower by the Avalanches. The final track, Epitaph, will charm anyone who listened to MOBO back in 2016. Just a really creative record that is an hour well spent on an introspective mind.

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Fri Sep 22 2023
5

What a wonderful, wonderful album. Loved every second of this.

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Wed Nov 01 2023
5

Great hooks and polished melodies topped with surrealistic interludes within songs. This is a really interesting mix. All the songs are pretty strong on the album but Camping on the Water and Bewilderbeast are standouts. It doesn't seem too surprising that I think the strongest songs on the album were singles. Great album.

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Wed Dec 20 2023
5

I’ve never listened to Badly Drawn Boy until yesterday, but have listened to this 4 or 5 times since already. Soooo much better than the image I I had in my head and I’m annoyed I didn’t bother earlier. I think because he was a big star during a time when pop was pretty poor, I had written him off. Was expecting something like early Coldplay for some reason, but instead got very intricate, lofi indie, more similar to Beck or Belle and Sebastian than Coldplay. I think this is the album on this list so far that has surprised me the most. Big fan. Love it.

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Sun Feb 11 2024
5

Great album. Good to listen to it as a whole again. Many of these songs are on my various playlists.

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Mon Feb 12 2024
5

amazing album my god a gem. very reminiscent of my fav elliott smith !!! i would buy this on vinyl in a heartbeat great listen 5/5

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Fri Feb 16 2024
5

I hadn't heard of Badly Drawn Boy before this record and of all things, the album art here definitely drew me in. In hindsight, it's a lot like the album itself, colorful, with a strange, almost tacky aura that only adds to its enjoyability, charm, and endless stream of creativity. There's a certain punch to the instrumentals that's hard to pinpoint here. This album's unique fusion of folk, baroque, electronic, and country rock works well to showcase Damon Gough's ear for effective genre fusion. "Camping Next Week" is a perfect example of this, with a prominent bassline and bizarrely placed guitar solo layered on top of a boilerplate folk instrumental. I love the imagery here relating the typically refreshing feelings invoked by a cool morning on a camping trip juxtaposed with the feelings of loneliness and a sense of longing. There's something almost unsettling and surreal about the way the instrumentals are layered here. It's difficult to describe but it could have to do with the plethora of string arrangements, bizarre sound effects, and slightly overblown mixes. Just check out the first half of "Stone on the Water" and the strange ambient/noise interlude on "Cause a Rockslide". I also love the synth layer driving the groove on "Once Around the Block". The instrumentation on this album is so diverse that even throughout its hour-plus runtime, it never felt tired nor like it was retreading old ideas. The lusciousness of some of these tracks cannot be understated, like the country-rock-driven "Disillusion" that breaks into a bizarre and sinister grainy piano segment. These sudden switch-ups are scattered throughout this album. Damon's singing style is subtle. While not entirely whispery, it's soft-spoken and is ever so slightly overpowered by some of the harder instrumentation here. Nevertheless, I enjoy the slightly off-kilter delivery and he's able to complement whatever direction the instrumental goes in here. The album's themes primarily deal with loss, grief, and forgiveness, with the feelings of a nostalgia-filled day out in the loose grip of nature. The song "Magic in the Air" is utterly gorgeous in its nostalgic portrayal of a seemingly inseparable emotional bond between two lovers. I can't emphasize enough how well Damon's lyrical imagery on any given track complements the form the instrumental is taking. I'm blown away by how much I enjoyed this album that had gone completely under my radar. Not many negatives on my end relating to this thing and, safe to say, it's been the best first listen on my 1001 journey so far.

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Fri Mar 08 2024
5

My favorite album of 200 - it still holds up. An underrated classic.

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Sun Mar 10 2024
5

I haven't listened to this for 10 years. Fuck I feel old. I was obsessed with this album in 2008. This is why I love this website.

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Mon Mar 11 2024
5

Loved this. A lot of influences are obvious from the differing sounds. 10 years ago, this would’ve been in a regular rotation for me. Might find its way into that category today anyway.

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Mon Mar 18 2024
5

What a fun discovery this one is! Reminds me at times of Sufjan Stevens, Cloud Cult, Eels. Interesting to read the comparisons to Nick Drake and Elliott Smith—I suppose I can hear it, and those other artists I mentioned came after Badly Drawn Boy, but I think this is clearly distinct. Imaginative, interesting arrangements, memorable melodies. “Once Around the Block” is a highlight, but I actually liked everything on this album! So excited to explore Badly Drawn Boy further!

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Fri Mar 22 2024
5

I love this album! Everytime I listen to it it just brings a smile to my face. The first three songs are nearly perfect. The Shining with its oh so sad cello and French horn; just absolutely gorgeous, than Damon comes in with his simple acoustic guitar strumming and direct vocals...brings shivers. And there's not much let up after those near perfect 12 minutes or so. The entire album is full of hooks and melodies that stick in your head for days. One of my favorite albums of the 2000s 5 stars

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Wed Dec 23 2020
4

Uma das melhores surpresas até agora. Mistura de Surfjan com Elliott Smith. Nada absurdamente original ou empolgante, mas muito agradável e interessante

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Thu Mar 04 2021
4

This Song literally tickles my ears when using headphones! Mostly pleasant album- some of it gets creepy.

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Tue Feb 02 2021
4

An often good, occasionally great cross section of where indie rock was coming from and going at the turn of the millennium, featuring one of the best songs ever, "Once Around The Block," right smack dab in the middle.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
4

Some great songs, some ok songs, but definitely gonna check out other albums

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Tue Jan 26 2021
4

Cool indie album. Fave songs: The Shining, Epitaph

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Thu Mar 04 2021
4

This is what Zach Braff dreams he sounds like.

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Tue Feb 02 2021
4

Dreamy magical fantasy PS Meant to rate Joy Division 3/5

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