released Oct 12th, 2010
from the album - Too Many Miracles
Belying his status as a narcoleptic slacker icon, Badly Drawn Boy proved himself a tireless pop songwriter, with arrangements that reflect a great deal of creativity. Born Damon Gough, he began recording after meeting the like-minded Andy Votel at a Manchester nightclub. The pair formed the Twisted Nerve label, and Gough debuted as Badly Drawn Boy with an EP and several singles. The recordings dovetailed nicely with the experimentalist pop fringe of artists like Scott 4 and the Beta Band, and the attendant media hype allowed him to guest alongside Thom Yorke, Richard Ashcroft, and Mike D on 1997's celebrity-filled UNKLE LP Psyence Fiction. His 1999 single "Once Around the Block" grazed the British charts, while XL Recordings signed the pop auteur and released his debut album, The Hour of Bewilderbeast, in 2000. Just before its American release, the album earned another round of critical praise with Britain's vaunted Mercury Prize for Best Album. December 2000 brought the birth of his daughter. Author Nick Hornby was won over by his music and asked the singer to score the film being made of his book About a Boy. After that project, he moved away from music for a few months to work on new material. After recording during most of 2002, he emerged that fall with Have You Fed the Fish? Two years later, Gough resurfaced with the simpler One Plus One Is One. Born in the U.K., a poppier collection of songs inspired by his childhood and (as the title suggests) Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A., arrived in fall 2006. 2009 saw the release of Is There Nothing We Could Do? which served as the soundtrack for the film The Fattest Man In Britain. It was followed in 2010 by Gough's seventh studio album, It's What I'm Thinking Pt.1 – Photographing Snowflakes.
Following the mixed reception of his ambitious 2006 album Born in the U.K., Badly Drawn Boy's Damon Gough retreated from the studio, returning only in 2009 when the writers of The Fattest Man in Britain asked him to write songs for the TV show's soundtrack. Being obligated to make music reignited Gough's creativity, leading him to create a proposed trilogy of albums that started with It's What I'm Thinking, Pt 1: Photographing Snowflakes. This return to the studio is also something of a return to form for Gough, who sounds more intimate and philosophical on these songs than he has since The Hour of Bewilderbeast. Badly Drawn Boy has done remarkable things with little more than an acoustic guitar, a drum machine and Gough's words, and songs such as “In Safe Hands” and “The Order of Things” serve as a reminder that many of his best songs sound like conversations set to music. Musically speaking, most of It's What I'm Thinking, Pt. 1 keeps it simpler than Gough has in some time; even the tracks bedecked with strings and timpani don't sound overcooked, and he stays close to the delicate folktronic territory that made his name, venturing only as far out as “You Lied”'s chilly soft rock and “I Saw You Walk Away”'s soulful pop. Thematically, however, things are more complex. True to the album's title, Gough is thoughtful on these songs, meditating on memories and the bigness and smallness of life on songs like “Too Many Miracles” and “What Tomorrow Brings,” where he tries to balance thinking about the future and the present. Failure and fear are significant themes (particularly on the title track, where Gough disguises some of his harshest words with sleepy slide guitars) and indeed, It's What I'm Thinking, Pt. 1 sometimes sounds a little tentative. It's not until the album's final two tracks that Gough reconnects fully with his muse: On “This Electric,” he's “chasin' all miracles” with the idealistic, confessional sweetness of his best work, a feeling that continues into “This Beautiful Idea,” which counters the melancholy feel of much of the album with hope and discovery. Though It's What I'm Thinking, Pt. 1 finds Badly Drawn Boy still getting back on his feet, it has enough encouraging moments for fans to stick around until he hits his full stride.
1 In Safe Hands Gough 4:01
2 The Order of Things Gough 5:13
3 Too Many Miracles Gough 3:44
4 What Tomorrow Brings Gough 3:44
5 I Saw You Walk Away Gough 5:29
6 It's What I'm Thinking Gough 6:26
7 You Lied Gough 3:05
8 A Pure Accident Gough 3:53
9 This Electric Gough 4:18
10 This Beautiful Idea Gough 4:41