Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. It's an album that feels like a watershed somehow, a significant step onwards.
  2. It's difficult to imagine how Badly Drawn Boy could've improved on The Hour of Bewilderbeast any better than this astonishing work.
  3. With About a Boy, Badly Drawn boy has grown up.
  4. A gorgeous, (let me say it again) gorgeous album that totally stands on its own.... About a Boy is one of the best albums of the year.
  5. Entertainment Weekly
    83
    A mix of songs and themes balancing obsessive craft with flippant style. [3 May 2002, p.89]
  6. Q Magazine
    80
    A vibe of maverick playfulness married to fabulous tunes. [Apr 2002, p.106]
  7. Alternative Press
    80
    A collection of stylistically diverse tunes that is cohesive and refreshing. [Jul 2002, p.76]
  8. Somewhere within the radio-friendly, xylophone-banging tracks, Badly Drawn Boy finds space for artistic experimentation and growth.
  9. Ambition, imagination, charm and grace - by any measure, 'About A Boy' hits the heights.
  10. Blender
    80
    Badly Drawn Boy pulls off the job with panache, tipping his hat to Nick Drake, Burt Bacharach and acoustic-era Bob Dylan. [Jun/Jul 2002, p.103]
  11. About a Boy is that rarest of bewildering beasties, the soundtrack that stands by itself.
  12. The songs lack the emotional depth of Bewilderbeast, but the jaunty folk-pop is just so much fun.
  13. Mojo
    70
    The seemingly effortless confidence displayed throughout is startling. [Apr 2002, p.108]
  14. The songs on About a Boy are all exactly what we've come to expect from Gough, and the disc's lack of cohesion is its only real failing.
  15. It's not all pleasant.... However, there are some total gems, as you'd expect.
  16. If About A Boy doesn't quite have the anything-can-happen vibe of Bewilderbeast, it still reveals a remarkably gifted artist.

Awards & Rankings

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Oct 23, 2016
    8
    The passage of time has been kind to this album. For me, I think its sounds better today, 14 years after its release than it did the day itThe passage of time has been kind to this album. For me, I think its sounds better today, 14 years after its release than it did the day it came out. "About A Boy" is as good a soundtrack album as you'll probably hear and a very strong follow up to Hour of Bewilderbeast. While it doesn't have the same breadth or depth as Bewilderbeast, you need to remember that it is a soundtrack so is a completely different album and serves a completely different purpose. "About A Boy" has lots of lovely short tracks in between proper songs and the beauty of these tracks can sometimes be lost in their brevity. The centre piece of the album "I love NYE" flowing seemlessly into "Silent Sigh" are worth buying this record for alone. Closing track "Donna & Blitzen" is a classic alternative Christmas anthem and possibly my favourite Christmas song. Great album, arguably more concise and focussed than anything else Badly Drawn Boy has done. Excellent listen. Full Review »
  2. matta
    Jul 19, 2005
    9
    A pair of badly sculpted breast implants? What the F? The folks over at Pitchfork need to pull their heads out of their asses. A great A pair of badly sculpted breast implants? What the F? The folks over at Pitchfork need to pull their heads out of their asses. A great follow-up to Bewilderbeast and just a flat-out great album. His "proper" follow-up later this same year proved that Badly Drawn Boy is a genius, and that Pitchfork knows nothing. Full Review »
  3. JaredSS
    May 24, 2004
    9
    Absolutely brilliant...what we've come to expect from Badly Drawn Boy. I like seeing somebody who has the balls to experiment while Absolutely brilliant...what we've come to expect from Badly Drawn Boy. I like seeing somebody who has the balls to experiment while he's supposed to be making a radio-friendly soundtrack for the masses...and succeeding on both levels. Can't wait for what else he has to offer. Bring it on! Full Review »