The Hour of Bewilderbeast - Badly Drawn Boy
The Hour of Bewilderbeast Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 17 Ratings

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  • Summary: The debut full-length album from Damon Gough (who records under the Badly Drawn Boy name) earned Britain's Mercury Prize for Best Album in 2000.
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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 70
    The results are engaging without quite reaching flashover.
  7. 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]

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Aug 15, 2011
    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 songwriter taking the listener through an epic adventure. Expand
  2. RicN.
    Jan 4, 2002
    Just played it and played it and played it. This guy is reminiscent of Lou Reed in his lighter moments - surely destined to be a major artist - acknowledged or not Expand
  3. JaredSS
    May 12, 2004
    Absolutely brilliant! Arguably the best album of the last five years. As a whole, it works better than a Pink Floyd album and the Beatle-esque melodies will ring in your ear long after hearing them. Do yourself the privelage of giving this masterpiece a listen or two....or five. Expand
  4. phill
    Mar 3, 2004
    A rare pop talent - this album is loaded with memorable songs.
  5. CHRIS
    Feb 25, 2005
  6. Oct 26, 2011
    A 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. Expand
  7. BenjaminBunny
    Mar 26, 2004
    Lyrically banal, the folksy tracks strike me as a pose (Damon Gough comes across as a sure-fire Elliott Smith fan)--not groundbreaking by any stretch, but consistantly listenable throughout. The follow-up, "Have You Fed the Fish?" is a more singular and assured vision from this artist. Collapse

See all 8 User Reviews