Badly Drawn Boy – Born In The UK (CD)

Every time I hear Badly Drawn Boy, what I hear reminds me of the story of Atlanta from Futurama. The folk influences present on “Born In The UK” are ever-present; the tentative lines of the title track (“Swimming Pool” do well in helping the listener insert themselves into the mind of the Boy. During this first track, “Pomp and Circumstance” marks a division between the two distinct styles played during the first two tracks. While Badly Drawn Boy does not completely break free of this uncertain sound, ey adopts a faster, more emotive type of rock that individuals may confuse for an Elvis Costello or Billy Bragg at moments. There is an interesting type of psychedelic rock to be heard during the introduction of “Degrees of Separation”.

What results after this is a pop track from the early seventies, albeit bolstered by better recording and Badly Drawn Boy’s penchant for linking together all forms of musical styles. Badly Drawn Boy hits time and time again with the tracks on “Born In The UK”; there are singles to be had aplenty during this album. While there is no evidence for this, the tracks on this album fit together so well in theme and sound that I would not be surprised if this album is a theme album. The use of earlier rock styles, blended with an electronic or synthesizer-heavy sound, is present during all tracks. There is a blend of Elton John, Frank Zappa, and David Bowie during “Welcome To The Overground”.

The chorus, hell even the stanzas in the track, are some of the most catchy pieces of lyrics ever produced by man. Badly Drawn Boy has created a visionary album in “Born In The UK”. The confident gaze of the Boy on the front cover of this album shows listeners that ey knows what ey has done is godly, and by the time that individuals get done with this album, they will believe that as well. This disc will stick with listeners; the compositions may end well short of the hour mark, but I’ll be damned if the compositions didn’t stick with me for a day or two after the first time I heard the album. Hopefully individuals will understand the shift in sounds and styles done by Badly Drawn Boy and will adopt this album as easily the storytelling equivalent of 2006’s “The Black Parade”. Viva la Badly Drawn Boy.

Top Tracks: A Journey From A To B, One Last Dance

Rating: 8.0/10

[JMcQ]

Badly Drawn Boy – Born In The UK / 2006 Astralwerks / 12 Tracks / http://www.badlydrawnboy.co.uk / http://www.astralwerks.com / Reviewed 07 May 2007

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