Album: Badly Drawn Boy

One Plus One Is One, Twisted Nerve/XL
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The Independent Culture

Damon Gough's last album, 2002's Have You Fed the Fish?, was illuminated by the birth of his son, Oscar, whose arrival interrupted the recording sessions in Los Angeles. In order to spend some quality time with the nipper, he's opted to record this follow-up in the more approachable environs of Stockport, a mere quarter-hour away from home, hearth and family, and has hooked up again with Twisted Nerve label boss/producer Andy Votel after two albums with American folk-rock producer Tom Rothrock. The most noticeable effect is in the sound quality, which is less sleek than before, closer to the rough'n'ready approach of his Hour of the Bewilderbeast debut. It's an odd mix, with separation something of a problem: at times Gough's overdubbed layers of guitar, piano, mellotron and banjo seem to bleed into each other. The addition of flute to tracks like "This Is That New Song" accentuates the resemblance to Nick Drake in these murmured ruminations on life and love, though in some cases the com

Damon Gough's last album, 2002's Have You Fed the Fish?, was illuminated by the birth of his son, Oscar, whose arrival interrupted the recording sessions in Los Angeles. In order to spend some quality time with the nipper, he's opted to record this follow-up in the more approachable environs of Stockport, a mere quarter-hour away from home, hearth and family, and has hooked up again with Twisted Nerve label boss/producer Andy Votel after two albums with American folk-rock producer Tom Rothrock. The most noticeable effect is in the sound quality, which is less sleek than before, closer to the rough'n'ready approach of his Hour of the Bewilderbeast debut. It's an odd mix, with separation something of a problem: at times Gough's overdubbed layers of guitar, piano, mellotron and banjo seem to bleed into each other. The addition of flute to tracks like "This Is That New Song" accentuates the resemblance to Nick Drake in these murmured ruminations on life and love, though in some cases the combination of flute and rock backing recalls instead Jethro Tull. The most unsatisfactory aspect of One Plus One Is One, however, is the maundering nature of the material, which slips by without ever demanding one's attention.

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