There is raw excitement to be found here, if you like offbeat humour and affecting pathos.
The bookish, introverted, The Smiths torchbearers Belle and Sebastian reignite the winter doldrums with a generous new release of their tear soaked twee meanderings.
This may be a soundtrack, but with reinterpretations of ‘Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying’ and ‘I Know Where The Summer Goes’ you would hardly ever know.
A consistent collection of 13 tracks, it all sounds elegant and crisp. Bordering on the edge of The Divine Comedy, like all great music it is hard to comprehend that this album could be overplayed; the entire album hangs together almost perfectly. The string arrangements work wonders on the instrumentals ‘Sister Buddha (Intro)’ and ‘Jill Pole’.
‘I’ll Keep It Inside’ is the most ghastly love song, but somehow Belle and Sebastian manage to pull it off. The band are well attuned to soundtracks, having previously released the unconventional Storytelling. ‘Sister Buddha’ is beautifully visceral and exhibits brute power without the vein-bulging bravado.
Manna for aficionados, Belle and Sebastian continue their demented bubblegum pop journey towards emotional aridity to be rejuvenated with tears.