It's What I'm Thinking, Part One: Photographing Snowflakes

Studio Album by released in 2010
It's What I'm Thinking, Part One: Photographing Snowflakes's tracklist:
In Safe Hands
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The Order of Things
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Too Many Miracles
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What Tomorrow Brings
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I Saw You Walk Away
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It's What I'm Thinking
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You Lied
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A Pure Accident
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This Electric
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This Beautiful Idea
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It's What I'm Thinking, Part One: Photographing Snowflakes review

Damon Gough’s musical rebirth

Damon Gough, who took up the Badly Drawn Boy stage name, is first of all known as the one who outdid Coldplay, and Doves to gram the prestigious 2000 Mercury Music Prize. He made this happed with his CD The Hour Of The Bewilderbeats, still considered by many the highest achievement in his musical career. To assure critics and listeners that he is not going to make albums following the template of that record, Damon Gough took a material four-year hiatus. This time was too much to think just one album, so the man worked out a concept for several CDs, the first one being released in the autumn 2010. This long player seems to have only one serious drawback: Damon decided to give it too big a name, It’s What I’m Thinking, Pt. 1 Photographing Snowflakes. Badly Drawn Boy’s new attempt mercilessly deals with the legacy of his first records and offers the audience a completely different musical model.

A soundtrack to melancholy and nostalgia

For these four years, Damon Gough grew much more mature and seems to have done lots of thinking. This is the thought most likely to cross your mind after listening to the new album’s opener, In Safe Hands. Acoustic guitar trapped in electronic surrounding breeds a felling of sadness and longing, the one that will build as the album performance unfolds. Evidently, the artist did not strive to hook us with melodies, but did care about catching us with smooth and flat sonic background that will not be quick to stay in the memory, but sure will captivate the soul immediately. There is a reason for an approach like this one because Gough’s lyrics is so powerful that it is worthy of every single bit of listener’s attention. In connection with this, music should be just an instrumental accompaniment not to distract the audience from the story with its hooks and abrupt tempo and rhythm shifts. Only after a number of listens, you start to memorize the album’s most distinguishable moments. These are string section parts in I Saw You Walk Away, melancholic and beautiful chorus in You Lied and unexpectedly loud and high-tempo beats in Pure Accident.

Badly Drawn Boy made a contradictable and intriguing

Badly Drawn Boy’s creative life stepped into autumnal season that brought up times of philosophical speculations and reminiscences. Damon wanted this album to be atmospheric and intelligent, and this is exactly what we have as a result. Stylistic fusions and twists, trademarks of the musician’s past works, are not present here as the material is stripped down to pure folk, while the arrangements, instead, became more complex. Perhaps, Damon went too far as he moved his voice deep into layers of programmed echoes and made transitions between intros, choruses and verses almost indistinguishable. In general, It’s What I’m Thinking, Pt. 1 Photographing Snowflakes looks like the most illogical continuation to the course of Badly Drawn Boy’s creative development. Within several years, the artist was working hard to make his music a more mainstream product adding much melodiousness and instrumental variety, and then… Definitely, this record will raise many questions and collect mixed reviews. Yet again, if art must be interesting and unpredictable, then It’s What I’m Thinking, Pt. 1 Photographing Snowflakes should justify all the hard labor produced by Badly Drawn Boy.