One Plus One Is One - Badly Drawn Boy
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Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

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  • Summary: Apart from demonstrating that his addition skills are as poor as Radiohead's, 'One Plus One' finds Damon Gough returning to the more low-key, lo-fi sound of his earlier work after the much glossier 'Have You Fed The Fish?' failed to win the British singer-songwriter new fans in 2002.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 23
  2. Negative: 3 out of 23
  1. One Plus One Is One may not sparkle with surprising brilliance, as Bewilderbeast did, but it is certainly the most thematically and musically grounded album Gough has yet created.
  2. An album full of freshness and fun that's less sketchy than its predecessors. [Jul 2004, p.110]
  3. This is much more than a retrenchment, and it certainly isn't a retreat.
  4. 60
    Get past the sometimes cloying pastoral arrangements and the often cornball sentiments and there are moments of ragged glory. [Sep 2004, p.132]
  5. Despite some truly inspired songs, One Plus One doesn't have the same dizzying effect as the genre-hopscotching Bewilderbeast or the orchestrated beauty of confident follow-ups About a Boy and Have You Fed the Fish?.
  6. I have the distinct feeling I’ve heard most of the songs on this album before. Nothing here is particularly original, and nothing moves me in the way that Gough’s earlier work so did.
  7. One Plus One is One sounds like an attempt to make a more serious statement, but with little substance invested in it. The result is Badly Drawn Boy's first boring album.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 2 out of 7
  1. JaredSS
    Jul 27, 2004
    Splendid! I had pretty high expectations for this CD (well before they dropped a notch bc of some lame critics regarding it as "boring") and it delivered through to its promise. This collection of songs totally hit the spot for me at the time I was listening to it, and it worked even better for me the following day. Rock on BDB, this was your best since "Bewilderbeast". Expand
  2. martk
    Jun 27, 2004
    First listen...crap...Second listen...crap...third listen....hey what's that bit about?....fourth listen....that one tune keeps playing in my head...fifth listen...this is starting to really grow on me....sixth listen...this man is a fucking album I have come across in years...god bless him. Expand
  3. matta
    Jul 19, 2005
    Not as strong as his previous outings but still, pretty inventive stuff. Plus, I'm a little biased because I saw him live and not only did he play 14 classics from previous albums, but then he came back out and played this entire album from start to finish. Who else does that? No one. That is why I love him, he is a genius, and Pitchfork are still a bunch of morons. Expand
  4. VinceH.
    Aug 18, 2004
    mart k is on to I don't think the album is as good as he does and I still think it's his weakest effort yet (altough how could anyone top "Have you Fed the Fish?"). He is right that it takes a few listens to get a hold of. The first time I listened to it all the way through I almost threw it out, that's how much I hated it. But the songs here are not the catchy, effervescent pop songs of his earlier records, these ones have more texture and are more about design and sound then they are about catchy, memorable hooks. It seems to me Gough needed to get this one out of his system, so I'll allow it. But next time, please go back to your usual style! Expand
  5. Oct 26, 2011
    A collection of acoustic songs - very much stripped down in comparison to previous efforts. There are some nice moments on this but overall it lacks ambition. I lost interest in the artist after this record. Expand
  6. Alexis
    Sep 21, 2005
    I wanted to like this album, I really did. "Bewilderbeast" is one of my favorite albums, period; but, both compared to his previous work and on its own, "One Plus One" is nothing but a dud. The lyrics are so trite and cliche it's almost unbelievable that anyone could find them appealing - I find myself cringing as I listen to this. The songwriting is good at best, but more often uninspiring and derivative - and the awful lyrics ruin what might otherwise be the few decent songs. I have tried listening to this CD several times in the hope that it might get better, as some reviewers have suggested, but it just doesn't. Disappointing is right. Expand
  7. angeeright
    Jun 23, 2004
    Really disappointing...shows the steady decline since his debut album has turned into a freefall. Songs for middle aged and cloth eared, not to mention pretentious , music critics. Expand