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Kyle

Belle and Sebastian

Belle and Sebastian Albums  

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I know there are more than a few people around these parts who dig Belle and Sebastian, as well we all should. But I was shocked, shocked I say to see no thread devoted to our favorite Scots.


"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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Guest stu

Tigermilk is my favourite, although to be honest it's also the only one I know really well, so my vote is probably worth very little.

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They're all so good. If You're Feeling Sinister and Dear Catastrophe Waitress are tied for first for me but I voted for the latter because I find myself playing it more. Probably because I think guests will take a better first impression of it. How could anyone not smile and dance? Sinister comes on when I'm alone.

I've been baffled by the widespread acclaim of The Life Pursuit. I don't get it. Why does everyone think this is their best work? maybe I just haven't listened to it enough.

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I think I'm always going to be drawn to Sinister for the reason that it was the first album of theirs that I heard. Thus, I think I'm going to connect their sound to that album.

As far as the Life Pursuit goes....I think it is good, very good, but not perfect. As with all B&S albums, there are some truly great songs, but there are also some lackluster ones as well. At 13 or 14 songs, it is about 2 songs too long. I think people are enamored with it because of how confident the band sounds. In my opnion, Waitress felt forced - a purposeful effort to breathe new life into a sound they had run into the ground. With the Life Pursuit, they sound like the mean it. It really comes across live.


"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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Come November Belle and Sebastian will be releasing a compilation of songs culled from their BBC sessions. Not coincidentally it's called The BBC Sessions. The tracklist as taken from Pitchfork. The second disc will accompany the initial copies of the set:

Disc One - Radio Sessions:

01 The State I Am In (Mark Radcliffe Session; 07/96)

02 Like Dylan in the Movies (Mark Radcliffe Session; 07/96)

03 Judy and the Dream of Horses (Mark Radcliffe Session; 07/96)

04 The Stars of Track and Field (Mark Radcliffe Session; 07/96)

05 I Could Be Dreaming (Mark Radcliffe session; 12/96; abbreviated version)

06 Seymour Stein (Evening Session; 07/97)

07 Lazy Line Painter Jane (Evening Session; 07/97)

08 Sleep the Clock Around (Evening Session; 07/97)

09 Slow Graffiti (Evening Session; 07/97)

10 Wrong Love (later recorded as "The Wrong Girl") (Evening Session; 07/97)

11 Shoot the Sexual Athlete (John Peel session; 05/01)

12 The Magic of a Kind Word (John Peel session; 05/01)

13 Nothing in the Silence (John Peel session; 05/01)

14 (My Girl's Got) Miraculous Technique (John Peel session; 05/01)

Disc Two - Live in Belfast (12/21/01):

01 Here Comes the Sun

02 There's Too Much Love

03 The Magic of a Kind Word

04 Me and the Major

05 Wandering Alone

06 The Model

07 I'm Waiting for the Man

08 The Boy With the Arab Strap

09 The Wrong Girl

10 Dirty Dream #2

11 The Boys Are Back in Town

12 Legal Man

The bad news is that Belle and Sebastian are still on hiatus and not working on a follow-up to The Life Pursuit in the near future.


"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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I must say I could never stand this band. It's the way the singer sings. Always the same, always kinda soft and precautious, and always the same kind of melodies, with the same progression, and the same trumpet solo. I stopped after the third album. Only heard samples of the following ones (and they always sounded worst than the previous ones to me). I don't deny there's a seductive sound, but I just can't be satisfied by it. It's not enough. I don't hear something adventurous enough. I rather hear a formula done by some fans of a type of music. Of course I may miss the point, if their music fits intelligently with the possible dimension of their lyrics, which I didn't read closely.

But musically, give me the third Velvet Underground album or Nick Drake anyday (they sound like their major influences, along with Love and the Pale Fountains).

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I voted for Dear Catastrophe Waitress along with yank_eh.

According to the humor book Stuff White People Like in a small section titled, "What Are White People Listening To?"

Tigermilk (1996) White people generally have all Belle and Sebastian albums, but most will say the first was the best.

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I must say I could never stand this band. It's the way the singer sings. Always the same, always kinda soft and precautious, and always the same kind of melodies, with the same progression, and the same trumpet solo. I stopped after the third album. Only heard samples of the following ones (and they always sounded worst than the previous ones to me). I don't deny there's a seductive sound, but I just can't be satisfied by it. It's not enough. I don't hear something adventurous enough. I rather hear a formula done by some fans of a type of music. Of course I may miss the point, if their music fits intelligently with the possible dimension of their lyrics, which I didn't read closely.

But musically, give me the third Velvet Underground album or Nick Drake anyday (they sound like their major influences, along with Love and the Pale Fountains).

Your critique of the vocals is a common criticism, especially on the earlier albums. Although to Murdoch's defense, he has gotten much better - confident - as the years have gone by. Perhaps the biggest indicator was when I saw them play in 2006 at a sold out Paramount Theatre in Seattle. The venue holds 3000 or so and Murdoch heald his own.

In terms of the music, I disagree. I don't think the songs sound the same at all. Although the lo-fi production of the earlier albums might suggest similarity, there is more than enough variability to hold my attention - espeically when you consider albums like the Boy with the Arab Strap which features songs written by four different members.

And the lyrics - they're top-notch.

Two of my favorites:

"If You're Feeling Sinister"

Anthony walked to his death because he thought he'd never feel this way again

If he goes back to the house then things would go from bad to worse, what could he do?

He wants to remember things exactly as he left them on that Wednesday

And if there is something else beyond, he isn't scared because

It's bound to be less boring than today

It's bound to be less boring than tomorrow

Hilary walked to her death because she couldn't think of anything to say

Everybody thought that she was boring, so they never listened anyway

Nobody was really saying anything of interest, she fell asleep She was into S&M and bible studies

Not everyone's cup of tea she would admit to me

Her cup of tea, she would admit to no one

Her cup of tea, she would admit to me

Oh but her cup of tea, she would admit to no one

Hilary went to the Catholic Church because she wanted information

The vicar, or whatever, took her to one side and gave her confirmation

Saint Theresa's calling her, the church up on the hill is looking lovely

But it doesn't interest, the only things she wants to know is How and why and when and where to go

How and why and when and where to follow

How and why and when and where to go

How and why and when and where to follow

But if you are feeling sinister

Go off and see a minister

He'll try in vain to take away the pain of being a hopeless unbeliever

When she got back, her spirituality was thrown into confusion

So she got a special deal on renting

From the man at Rediffusion

"Look at me! I'm on TV

It makes up for the shortcomings of being poor

Now I'm in a million pieces", picked up for deliberation

By the people listening at home

By the people watching on the telly

By the people listening at home

By the people watching on the telly

But if you are feeling sinister

Go off and see a minister

Chances are you'll probably feel better

If you stayed and played with yourself

and also "Expectations"

Monday morning wake up knowing that you've got to go to school

Tell your mum what to expect, she says it's right out of the blue

Do you went to work in Debenham's, because that's what they expect

Start in Lingerie, and Doris is your supervisor

And the head said that you always were a queer one from the start

For careers you say you went to be remembered for your art

Your obsessions get you known throughout the school for being strange

Making life-size models of the Velvet Underground in clay

In the queue for lunch they take the piss, you've got no appetite

And the rumour is you never go with boys and you are tight

So they jab you with a fork, you drop the tray and go berserk

While your cleaning up the mess the teacher's looking up your skirt

You've been used, you're confused

Write a song, I'll sing along

Are you calm? Settle down

Soon you will know that you are sane

You're on top of the world again

Monday morning wake up knowing that you've got to go to school

Mum said she had little choice when she was young, so why should you?

Do you went to work in C&A, 'cause that's what they expect

Move to Ladieswear and take a feel off Joe the Storeman

Tell Veronica the secrets of the boy you never kissed

She's got everything to gain 'cause she's a fat girl with a lisp

She sticks up for you when you get aggravation from the snobs

'Cause you can't afford a blazer and you're always wearing clogs

At the interval you lock yourself away inside a room

Heed of English gets you, asks you, "What the Hell do you think you're doing?"

"Do you think you're better then the other kids? Well get outside."

You've got permission, but you've got to make the bastard think he's right


"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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