The Hour of Bewilderbeast - Badly Drawn Boy
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. 100
    A work of warm-hearted ambition, embracing ragtime, disco beats, melodic Johnny Marr-isms... and echoes of Bacharach.... A classic debut LP with a lifetime's worth of triumphs and tragedies packed into it. [July 2000, p.112]
  2. A slippery and surprising little record -- an oblique song cycle tracing a relationship from balmy beginning to corrosive end.
  3. A wonderfully offbeat blend of atmospheric folk and lo-fi rock that never fails to charm.... One of the year's most well-rounded and consistently satisfying albums.
  4. Despite all attempts to sabotage his songwriting and production with innumerable experimental tidbits, songs within a song, and (seemingly) tossed-off arrangements, Damon Gough has to face the fact that He wrote and produced over a dozen excellent songs of baroque folk-pop for his album debut, and the many gems can't help but shine through all the self-indulgence.
  5. The loose, scatterbrain album operates much like the early solo endeavors of Paul McCartney, with 80% developed gems flowing effortlessly from the damp, rustic English countryside.... Piano, strings, harps, and wurlitzer attach insect wings to the lovely songs. They'll swarm and pester your head for days.
  6. Quirky, spunky and really quite beautiful, this is British pop at its finest.
  7. Musically, he's a little more conventional than one would hope. [12/2000, p.90]
  8. Although a couple tracks towards the end don't work quite as well, it doesn't detract from the album as a whole very much.
  9. It doesn't disappoint, if beatific, rhythm-infested melodies, resplendent in wondrous brass, stark string accompaniment and obscure found sounds are your bag.
  10. 70
    The results are engaging without quite reaching flashover.
  11. It putters here and there across 18 ditties and doodles gracefully arranged, but played with two left feet and recorded to match.... This English Elliott Smith's got a plainspeak voice that compels with repeated listenings, and the subtle tunes are likewise sneaky, enlivened by all sorts of quirky bits...
  12. Sounds like Elliott Smith's English cousin, or Nick Drake's almost-upbeat nephew.... sweet, gently burning songs.
  13. At about an hour, Bewilderbeast is uneven, but at its best it exudes a sense of mystery, ingenuity, and wonder that portends even better material to come.
  14. These songs are sonically interesting and pretty as Mom on Easter, but they don't really ring true...
  15. Yet in his desire to create a self-consciously classic album, BDB has erred on the side of generosity. At 63 minutes, 'The Hour Of Bewilderbeast' is true to its title: there's simply too much to sustain one's unswerving attention.
  16. 60
    With 18 songs that clock in at over 63 minutes, The Hour of Bewilderbeast meanders too much, and the quirky pacing (there are many random instrumental interludes) makes it difficult to enjoy as a whole. But taken in sections, it's a bit of a grower.
  17. 50
    At its best, Bewilderbeast promises pastoral beauty.... At its worst, the album's faux-jazz workouts, painful disco homage, sappy ballads and pointless instrumentals stretch a decent EP into a bloated, hour-plus opus. [#47, p.84]
  18. 50
    Gough's dewy little tunes are mere scribblings in the margins of alt-folk's dog-eared hook-book, while his too-cool-to-care singing is drip-dry dreary. [12/2000, p.232]
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Oct 26, 2011
    8
    A brilliant debut from the enigmatic Badly Drawn Boy. Original throughout, full of nicely crafted songs intermingled with sound collages. OnlyA brilliant debut from the enigmatic Badly Drawn Boy. Original throughout, full of nicely crafted songs intermingled with sound collages. Only 1 or 2 weak tracks of the 18 on it. I'd recommend to anyone who appreciates good melodies and cute lyrics. Although I'm cautious in saying it, this reminds me a lot of the Beatles White album in terms of it's style (but obviously without all the Beatles all time classics that appeared on that record). The song writing here is top notch and well deserved it's Mercury Music Prize. Full Review »
  2. Aug 15, 2011
    10
    This is an album about positive expectations, an album you can so easily fall in love with and flows so effortlessly. BDB is a true songwriterThis is an album about positive expectations, an album you can so easily fall in love with and flows so effortlessly. BDB is a true songwriter taking the listener through an epic adventure. Full Review »
  3. CHRIS
    Feb 25, 2005
    9
    nifty.