Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Badly Drawn Boy: The Hour of Bewilderbeast [XL, 2000]
Damon Gough sounds a lot sadder than he is. It's more like he muses a lot, is easily distracted. On the page, "You left your shoes in the tree with me/I'll wear them to your house tonight" looks hopelessly stupid; on record, it's quite wry. Nor is he undemonstrative--unlike low-affect codependent Elliott Smith, he fusses so much over his tunes, crooning and segueing and arranging and stuff, that you know he loves them to death. You can imagine him being just as nice to a real live girl one of these years. A-