Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic 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. It's all so beautifully simple, especially moody acoustic guitar/piano laments like "Fewer Words", that you almost miss how effective the arrangements are -- gorgeous, heartfelt melodies yield odes to a life that's consistently surprising and alive with optimism.
  3. Filter
    80
    Sounds like something made by a gifted producer who has a great voice, an earnest way with words, a vast well of fantastic ideas, and a serious OCD complex. [#12, p.95]
  4. This is much more than a retrenchment, and it certainly isn't a retreat.
  5. Q Magazine
    80
    An album full of freshness and fun that's less sketchy than its predecessors. [Jul 2004, p.110]
  6. On the one hand, it's a little hokey: if One Plus One Equals One tried any harder to charm you, it would turn up on your doorstep with a bottle of Fleurie and offer you a footrub. On the other, the songs are Gough's strongest in years.
  7. Under The Radar
    80
    While One Plus One Is One fails to fully capture the charm of his debut, it comes close. [#7]
  8. New Musical Express (NME)
    80
    A record which is closer in spirit to the rustic eccentricity of his '...Bewilderbeast' debut, while still moving things forward. [19 Jun 2004, p.57]
  9. A veritable debutante ball of sad little songs.
  10. Rolling Stone
    70
    It's slow, beautiful and ponderously sincere. [19 Aug 2004, p.118]
  11. There are times when One Plus One Is One is simply too much, and the fresh spin that Gough brought to the British singer/songwriter tradition in his earlier work is missed, but he's still a fine addition to it.
  12. Blender
    60
    Get past the sometimes cloying pastoral arrangements and the often cornball sentiments and there are moments of ragged glory. [Sep 2004, p.132]
  13. Entertainment Weekly
    50
    A snoozy muddle, dominated by underwritten, over-orchestrated ballads. [6 Aug 2004, p.80]
  14. 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?.
  15. 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.
  16. While there's not necessarily a bad song to be found, Gough is capable of much more than the pretty yet bland compositions that dominate "One Plus One."
  17. Badly Drawn Boy's been sketchy before, but never quite this artless.
  18. Alternative Press
    40
    A decidedly hit-or-miss affair. [Nov 2004, p.148]
  19. Uncut
    40
    There are flashes of sublimity, but too often hideous flashbacks of Jethro Tull and ELO. [Jul 2004, p.102]
  20. With their staid textures, the songs tend to blend into one another, sounding at best like a spiritless hodgepodge of About a Boy's weaker moments.
  21. At times, the album sounds like a lost collaboration between Nick Drake and Jethro Tull, and one that might have best stayed lost.
  22. 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.
User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 12
  2. Negative: 2 out of 12
  1. Oct 26, 2011
    6
    A collection of acoustic songs - very much stripped down in comparison to previous efforts. There are some nice moments on this but overall itA 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. Full Review »
  2. Alexis
    Sep 21, 2005
    2
    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 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. Full Review »
  3. matta
    Jul 19, 2005
    7
    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 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. Full Review »