Release Date: Jul 27, 2004
Record label: Twisted Nerve / Astralwerks
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
It's not often that an album summarises both its contents and its raison d'être in its opening line. So, if nothing else, Badly Drawn Boy's One Plus One Equals One is something of a landmark for honesty in rock. There is only the briefest burst of acoustic strumming before the listener is struck by the sound of cards firmly hitting the table, as Damon Gough plaintively sings: "Back to who I was before." Whether you consider that a noble declaration of intent or a caveat rather depends on what you look for in a new album: those expecting restless innovation or a radical new direction are advised not to hang about.
After the concise About a Boy soundtrack and the overdone Have You Fed the Fish?, Damon Gough (aka Badly Drawn Boy) still seems to be searching for balance on his fourth album, One Plus One Is One. Even the album's name contains conflicting wishes for simplicity and multiplicity, along with suggesting a relationship's theory of mathematics. Most of the songs here revolve around love's simplicities and complexities in settings that range from unadorned to elaborate.