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The Law of the Playground

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Editors’ Notes

The Boy Least Likely To’s relentlessly sunny, 2005 debut, The Best Party Ever, resulted in no small amount of buzz and British musicians Jof Owen and Pete Hobbs wisely stayed the course with The Law of the Playground, offering more of the effervescent, gleeful pop that won them such accolades in the first place. While tunes like the fiddle-and-banjo driven “Saddle Up,” and the sing-along imperative “A Balloon On A Broken String” would not sound out of place on a kids’ TV show, the gleeful bounce and radiant energy often belies more melancholy, adult themes: singer Owen sweetly croons lines like, “I know I look all shiny and bouncy, but I’m all empty inside” and “I wake up every morning feeling sad,” sentiments not exactly made for the Sesame Street crowd. Mood changers like “Whiskers,” with its marching snare drum, sad banjo, and whooshing synths, and the lonely scientist lament, “The Boy Least Likely to Is a Machine,” keep things from glazing over with twee-ness. TBLLT make clever, gleaming pop crafted with a healthy yin/yang dynamic: Think, I’m From Barcelona and Noah and the Whale, with a bit of a Jekyll/Hyde twist added to the whole affair. Bingo.

Customer Reviews

The boys least likely to grow up.

Cute and cuddly songs are all the rage these days, but the quirkiest thing about these songs is how genuine they really are. Unlike most other acts, it's not a gimmick, they play like they actually dream of performing on Blue's Clues. If you're driving around with a kid in the backseat, treat yourself to an album you can both actually enjoy. These are, quite simply, catchy songs that don't worry about sounding so incredibly close to a weekday morning children's television theme song.

worth the wait

i didn't think they could top the first record (which hasn't left my top 25 most played since i discovered it a few years ago) but 'saddle up', 'the boy with two hearts' and the lemonade song all give 'be gentle with me' a run for its money in awesomeness...all of their music makes me really happy even though its a little bit sad sometimes, i hope they make many more records and the next one doesn't take so long to come out

Wow. I am the Boy most likely to listen to...

After hearing their stint on KCRW a few years back, and falling in love with Party, this band has exceeded my expectations. Great melodies. Zippy xylophones and banjo. What more could I ask for? Novices, try Goliath and Butterflies.


Formed: Wendover, Buckinghamshire, Englan

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

U.K. duo the Boy Least Likely To was one of the freshest and most exciting indie pop groups to surface in the mid-decade. The group is made up of singer/lyricist Jof Owen and Pete Hobbs. Owen writes the words and sings them; Hobbs writes the music and plays it. Formed in the English countryside (specifically Wendover), the Boy Least Likely To is influenced by country storytellers like Marty Robbins, C-86 indie pop groups like the Pastels and Television Personalities, and turn-of-the-century pop groups...
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The Law of the Playground, The Boy Least Likely To
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