Born in the U.K.

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October 13, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

Damon Gough, the British singer who records as Badly Drawn Boy, has a habit of bogging down his modestly tuneful records with baroque wall-of-sound arrangements and lovelorn lyrics that aim for a grandeur they can’t reach. Born in the U.K. is typical: For every catchy valentine, there are three groan-inducing Big Statements. The worst offense: the title track, which strains to say something serious about the Sex Pistols, Margaret Thatcher, and, um, Britishness, to the accompaniment of sludgy guitars and a snippet of — what else? — ”Pomp and Circumstance.”

Born in the U.K.

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Born in the U.K.

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