One Plus One Is One

Damon Gough, the wildly talented British singer/songwriter who records as Badly Drawn Boy, is proving to be as frustrating as he is brilliant.

Damon Gough, the wildly talented British singer/songwriter who records as Badly Drawn Boy, is proving to be as frustrating as he is brilliant. Living in the long shadow of his masterful 2000 debut, "The Hour of Bewilderbeast," Gough has struggled to match the creative standards of that achievement—especially with his forays into poppier material. This time out he's trying a back-to-"Bewilderbeast" approach. But recapturing the pixie dust of his charmed early work is easier said than done. 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." He seems to know it, too. Even in the album's best moments —"The Year of the Rat," "Four Leaf Clover"—he sounds weary under the weight of his own lofty expectations.—BG