The original soundtracks (OST) from movies should be an independent musical genre where one of the requirements could be how well the music reminds you of the feeling of the movie and another requirement could be how many people appreciate the LP without having seen the film before.
I don’t know if it’s a shame, but I saw the movie first. We’re talking about About a Boy, with Huge Grant and Nicholas Hoult. I liked it a lot, especially the scene where Grant comes on to the stage to sing “Killing me Softly” with Hoult, just unforgettable. But the idea is to talk about the music of the film, recorded just by one artist: Badly Drawn Boy. This is unusual in the OST genre.
About a Boy is a good album with sophisticated arrangements and different textures produced by an acoustic guitar, symphonic orchestral support, and some electronic sounds. The soundtrack is well balanced between instrumental tunes and songs done in a folk songwriter style. His mission, to write song for a film, has improved his writing style. I’m talking about the songwriting style of the third millennium like James Blunt or Jack Johnson. The voice of Damon Gough (a.k.a. Badly Drawn Boy) is warm and soft; he uses different styles of vocalization dependent upon the songs.
The instrumental tunes catches some feelings from the film, like tenderness and the lazy days, very well. The songs are good enough to be singles, especially “Silent Sigh” and “Something About You”. Growing and loving are the topics of the lyrics (of course, those are the topics of the film): “I bet at your age /That's easier for you to say” on “A Peak You Reach” and “I will take you as you are / Please accept me as I am” on "Above You, Below Me".
This LP came to me a couple of years after seeing the movie and reminded me of the film, but when I saw the film I didn’t have a special feeling about the music (except for the “Killing Me Softly” part). If you need a reference, when I saw Pulp Fiction, after the first scene, when I heard the opening song (“Misirlou”), I said very excitedly to my brother sitting besides me in the cinema: “tomorrow I will buy the soundtrack”. The same when I saw Magnolia on cable TV, after the scene where the song “Momentum” plays I said to myself: “I will download the soundtrack.”
I think that you could love this LP without seeing the movie, but as I said, I saw the movie first and it’s recommendable too