Review : The Boy Least Likely To - The Law of the Playground
PitchforkChildhood isn't kids' stuff. Like Tom Cruise, or life in Hobbes' state of nature, it can be nasty, brutish, and short. Language that would make Rahm Emanuel or a "South Park" writer blush. Intolerance enough to have Rush Limbaugh sound like Gandhi. A mini shock'n'awe campaign of child-on-insect violence. And, every now and then, brief glimpses of nudity. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
UK twee-poppers the Boy Least Likely To didn't disappear after 2005 debut The Best Party Ever reclaimed the schoolyard. But their vividly imagined mix of whimsy and melancholy has attracted a magic-threatening share of the spotlight. A steady drip of TV, film, and retail licensing for single "Be Gentle With Me", originally released in 2003, culminated (so far) with a Coca-Cola commercial during this year's Academy Awards broadcast. At the same time, in a world where Noah and the Whale exist, hipper-than-thou tastes have shifted back toward harsher, rougher sounds, or else impossibly perfect Auto-Tune chart-pop....full text
ThemusicmagazineIf you’ve been anywhere near a television since 2005 you’ll probably already be familiar with the Boy Least Likely To, whether you know it or not. Be Gentle With Me, from their debut album The Best Party Ever (the titles alone should tell you what kind of band you’re dealing with here) has been used to soundtrack both furniture and finance, and the album even managed to be included in Pitchfork and Rough Trade’s top albums list for the year of release. A US release followed a year later, that saw Rolling Stone describe them as sounding like “what would happen if all your childhood stuffed animals got together and started a band”. It’s not an unfair accusation either, and certainly not malicious. The Boy Least Likely To are Pete Jobbs and Jof Owen, two musicians who seem unable to grow up, and in all likelihood probably still play with their childhool stuffed animals in their spare time.
After all the success of their debut album, the follow-up has been a while coming. Introductory single Every Goliath Has Its David is in a similar vein to the playfulness of Be Gentle With Me, but slightly lacking the charm of their smash hit. It’s something that can be levelled at the entire album - their half-hearted aim at remaining as twee as the debut is quite apparent. For all intents and purposes though, this is an album that winds up being stronger than the debut, showing a much darker side to childhood innocence shown first time round....full text
MusicomhPredating the current C-86 revival by a good four years, Jof Owen and Pete Hobbs aka The Boy Least Likely To return after a long overdue absence with their latest slice of delicious indie pop.
The duo's debut album The Best Party Ever was one of those sleeper hits that took a while to seep through to many people but received a rave review on these very pages back in 2005.
After an enforced hiatus due to record company shenanigans, Owen and Hobbs have returned to their Too Young To Die label to release this new album. And for fans of their earlier work there is plenty here to delight.
The Law Of The Playground is a more cohesive set than the debut album, which essentially bundled three EPs together. This time around there is a greater sense of purpose in the music and lyrics that marks The Law Of The Playground as a definitive statement for Owen and Hobbs....full text
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