Badly Drawn Boy: Once Around The Block

Badly Drawn Boy
"Once Around The Block"

"Once Around The Block" is a great pop song. There. That's all you need to know (but if you want more... onward)— from the buoyant wah wah rhythm guitar carrying the listener along— to the intermittent jazz-muted lead picking out the melody line. This song is sunshine transformed into sound. This may also be the best pop song I have heard without an actual chorus.

There's something circular about it all, from the title, "Once Around The Block," to the way it makes me want to spin around (too much information?), and finally the last lines:

    Take a left,
    A sharp left,
    And another left,
    Meet me on the corner,
    We'll start again

Badly Drawn Boy writes great songs on a par with US compadre, John Vanderslice, but where BDB is sunshine, Vanderslice is shadowy... shady. Funny, Vanderslice being from sunny Florida and Badly Drawn Boy from rainy Manchester, England— what's that line about nurture or nature again?

Badly Drawn Boy is 33 year-old Manchester native Damon Gough. A man who has made his love of Bruce Springsteen apparent in many interviews— a man who copped his style of dress from Born to Run era Bruce— facial hair, baggy pants, wool cap— 70s New Jersey grunge. A man who writes intricately arranged pop songs rampant with the influences he has soaked up— the man is a great sopping sponge and is now likely primed to begin leaking upon his younger peers. Uh... influencing his younger peers as others have influenced him.

Badly Drawn Boy is now a Well Painted Man.

Alan Williamson *Sixeyes

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