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Badly Drawn Boy

Born in the U.K.

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Badly Drawn Boy's Born in the U.K., a play on Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the U.K." and Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A., is less a tribute to the Boss than it is a narrative. It tells where Badly Drown Boy comes from, how he's a product of that environment and why he does what he does. Intensely personal, this album reveals the inner workings of this Boy. The feeling behind Born is one of honesty that doesn't need to be bogged down by over-instrumentation. The sounds are simple and propelled by a quiet piano ("Without a Kiss") or delivered in almost spoken-word fashion ("Swimming Pool Part 1"). Even when there is the odd swell of orchestral arrangements (strings, trumpets), it is done with a purpose, which is a testament to this musician's noticeable maturation. *****

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