Have You Fed the Fish?

Brit alt-pop phenomenon Badly Drawn Boy (aka Damon Gough) is a man of shrugging airs and saving graces.

Brit alt-pop phenomenon Badly Drawn Boy (aka Damon Gough) is a man of shrugging airs and saving graces. In a world of mimicry and way too much yawn-metal, Have You Fed the Fish? is a treasure trove of musical curios; a pixie's melting pot of gems and bottlecaps—from Beatles references to clunky piano giggle ballads ("40 Days, 40 Fights"), from bare-bones acoustic tracks to the odd dash of soul ("Using Our Feet"). And, lyrically, the Boy just may be the new J.D. Salinger of pop. This is one man's unabashed non-fashion statement with songs that have a delightfully casual—though never disheveled—feel to them. But the overarching impression of nonchalance belies the depth of talent in play. In an era of musical plastic surgery, Fish is a wry smile of an album.—AZ