The Hour of Bewilderbeast

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The Hour of Bewilderbeast
Badly Drawn Boy - The Hour of the Bewilderbeast.jpg
Studio album by Badly Drawn Boy
Released 26 June 2000
Genre Indie rock, indie folk, chamber pop
Length 63:25
Label XL, Twisted Nerve
Producer Badly Drawn Boy, Gary Wilkinson, Joe Robinson, Ken Nelson
Badly Drawn Boy chronology
The Hour of Bewilderbeast
(2000)
About a Boy
(2002)About a Boy2002
Singles from The Hour of Bewilderbeast
  1. "Once Around the Block"
    Released: August 1999
  2. "Another Pearl"
    Released: 5 June 2000
  3. "Disillusion"
    Released: 4 September 2000
  4. "Pissing in the Wind"
    Released: 7 May 2001

The Hour of Bewilderbeast is the debut studio album by British musician Badly Drawn Boy, released on 26 June 2000. Damon Gough, who performs as Badly Drawn Boy, wrote, produced, and played several instruments on the album's eighteen tracks, several of which also feature accompaniment by members of the British indie rock bands Alfie and Doves. The Hour of Bewilderbeast was released to great critical acclaim and went on to win the 2000 Mercury Prize,[1] and has sold 455,000 copies in the United Kingdom as of September 2011.[2]

Release[edit]

The cover art, designed by Andy Votel, is a collage loosely based on Leonardo da Vinci's drawing Vitruvian Man. For the American release of the album, the album's cover was altered to remove a photograph of American actor and director Woody Allen, which was unauthorized by the copyright owners of the photograph.[3] In addition, the song "Magic in the Air" was re-recorded with new instrumental parts to replace a section of the song utilizing lyrics taken from the 1987 song "Love Is Contagious" by R&B singer Taja Sevelle, after Sevelle's publishing company BMG objected to the use of the lyrics.[3][4]

Reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic78/100[5]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[6]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[7]
Los Angeles Times3.5/4 stars[8]
Mojo4/5 stars[9]
NME7/10[10]
Pitchfork8.6/10[11]
Q4/5 stars[12]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[13]
Spin5/10[14]
The Village VoiceA−[15]

The Hour of Bewilderbeast was widely acclaimed by music critics.[16] On the review aggregate site Metacritic, the album holds a score of 78 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[5] Michael Hubbard of musicOMH felt that the album "deserves to do well for many more reasons than the act's name, excellent though it is", and that "a surprise is set loose with every track".[17] Calling the album a "concise tour through the gentler side of British songwriting history", Brent DiCrescenzo of Pitchfork wrote that the varied instrumentation "[attaches] insect wings to the lovely songs" and concluded that with The Hour of Bewilderbeast, "Badly Drawn Boy proves what shallow saps American liberal arts majors can be behind a guitar."[11] AllMusic's John Bush stated that Gough had written and produced "over a dozen excellent songs of baroque folk-pop for his album debut, and the many gems can't help but shine through all the self-indulgence", highlighting Gough's use of humour in his lyrics.[6]

Alternative Press stated that The Hour of Bewilderbeast gives "as full a portrait as possible of Gough's musical and personal life,"[18] while David Browne, writing in Entertainment Weekly, called the album an "intimate hour that's far from bewildering."[7] Pat Blashill of Rolling Stone compared Gough to Elliott Smith and Nick Drake and wrote that "like Drake, he's mastered the art of evoking melancholy without slathering on too much sentimentality."[13] Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times drew similar comparisons to Drake, while noting that Gough "never succumbs to Drake's sad solipsism, though, favoring an expansive reach emotionally and musically."[8] In a more mixed assessment, Spin's Barney Hoskyns wrote that "Gough's dewy little tunes are mere scribblings in the margins of alt-folk's dog-eared hook-book, while his too-cool-to-care singing is drip-dry dreary" and that The Hour of Bewilderbeast, when compared to Elliott Smith's Figure 8, makes Gough "look like an imposter."[14]

The Hour of Bewilderbeast appeared on several year-end lists. Pitchfork ranked the album at number 18 on its list of the top 20 albums of 2000.[19] NME ranked the album at number 4 on its list of the 50 best albums of 2000.[20] In addition, the album received the 2000 Mercury Prize, a prize Gough was favoured to win. When Gough received the prize, he tossed the prize money on the ground and said: "I always assumed I was never going to win because good things don't happen to good people normally."[21]

The album was also listed in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[22]

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by Badly Drawn Boy (Damon Gough).

No.TitleLength
1."The Shining"5:18
2."Everybody's Stalking"3:39
3."Bewilder"0:48
4."Fall in a River"2:17
5."Camping Next to Water"3:50
6."Stone on the Water"3:58
7."Another Pearl"4:27
8."Body Rap"0:45
9."Once Around the Block"3:44
10."This Song"1:32
11."Bewilderbeast"3:30
12."Magic in the Air"3:43
13."Cause a Rockslide"5:55
14."Pissing in the Wind"4:19
15."Blistered Heart"1:50
16."Disillusion"5:19
17."Say It Again"4:41
18."Epitaph"3:50

Personnel[edit]

Credits for The Hour of Bewilderbeast adapted from album liner notes.[23]

Charts[edit]

Charts (2000) Peak
position
UK Albums (OCC)[24] 13
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[25] 23
US Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[26] 36

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2000 Shortlist Archived 6 April 2012 at WebCite. Mercury Prize. Retrieved 23 June 2011
  2. ^ "Mercury Prize Winners – The Guardian Google spreadsheet". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Talbot, Michael (May 2002). The Business of Music. Liverpool University Press. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-85323-538-5. On 7 October New Musical Express noted: 'Badly Drawn Boy aka Damon Gough has been forced to release a new pressing of his debut album, The Hour of the Bewilderbeast, after major publishing company BMG objected to the use of a lyrics from Taja Sevelle's 1987 hit "Love is Contagious"... The Mercury Prize winner has also changed the artwork on... Bewilderbeast for its American release. The cover – a collage by Gough himself, including a picture of Woody Allen – used images without the copyright owners' prior consent' 
  4. ^ "The Boy Gets Disillusioned". NME. 10 August 2000. Retrieved 23 June 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Reviews for The Hour of Bewilderbeast by Badly Drawn Boy". Metacritic. Retrieved 23 June 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Bush, John. "The Hour of Bewilderbeast – Badly Drawn Boy". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Browne, David (23 October 2000). "The Hour of Bewilderbeast". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Hochman, Steve (29 September 2000). "Badly Drawn Boy Charms With Understated Folk". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 October 2015. 
  9. ^ Segal, Victoria (April 2016). "Badly Drawn Boy: The Hour of Bewilderbeast". Mojo (269): 105. 
  10. ^ Cameron, Keith (23 June 2000). "Badly Drawn Boy – The Hour of Bewilderbeast". NME. Archived from the original on 11 July 2000. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  11. ^ a b DiCrescenzo, Brent (30 September 2000). "Badly Drawn Boy: The Hour of Bewilderbeast". Pitchfork. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  12. ^ "Badly Drawn Boy: The Hour of Bewilderbeast". Q (166). July 2000. 
  13. ^ a b Blashill, Pat (12 October 2000). "Badly Drawn Boy: The Hour Of Bewilderbeast". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 20 April 2001. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  14. ^ a b Hoskyns, Barney (December 2000). "Badly Drawn Boy: The Hour of Bewilderbeast". Spin. 16 (12): 28. ISSN 0886-3032. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  15. ^ Christgau, Robert (13 February 2001). "Pazz & Jop Preview". The Village Voice. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  16. ^ Conaton, Chris (21 January 2016). "Badly Drawn Boy: The Hour of Bewilderbeast (15th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)". PopMatters. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  17. ^ Hubbard, Michael (26 June 2000). "Badly Drawn Boy – The Hour Of Bewilderbeast". musicOMH. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  18. ^ "Badly Drawn Boy: The Hour of Bewilderbeast". Alternative Press (149): 90. December 2000. 
  19. ^ "Top 20 Albums of 2000". Pitchfork. 1 January 2001. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  20. ^ A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2000. NME. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  21. ^ "Mercury joy for Badly Drawn Boy". BBC. 13 September 2000. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  22. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (23 March 2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2. 
  23. ^ The Hour of Bewilderbeast (liner notes). Badly Drawn Boy. XL Recordings. 2000. TNXLCD133. 
  24. ^ "Badly Drawn Boy | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
  25. ^ "Badly Drawn Boy Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
  26. ^ "Badly Drawn Boy Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved February 26, 2016.

External links[edit]