Glasgow veterans Belle & Sebastian have captured our attention once more but is their new album worth a wee purchase? Adam Leo finds out…
Belle & Sebastian have experienced only limited commercial success, with their highest charting album being their last, ‘The Life Pursuit,’ at no. 8. Their failure to enter the mainstream in no way dilutes the fact that they are still one of the most uniquely talented bands on the Indie music scene today, particularly since the mainstream seems to be saturated with soggy teenage crap, vacuum packed straight out of Simon Cowell’s studio.
Therefore it is with great celebration that after 4 long years B&S have returned with their 9th studio album “Write About Love.” Naturally, the album opens with a delicate relay of instruments in I Didn’t See It Coming, followed by a beefy burst of sounds on Come On Sister. The 4th track, I Want the World to Stop, is one of the stand-out tracks of the album with lovely flourishes of keyboard and guitar to delight.
Along with frontman Stuart Murdoch, a number of other artists lend their hand, including Norah Jones in ‘Little Lou, Ugly jack, Prophet John’ and actress Carey Mulligan in the title track and first single Write About Love. With the help of guests B&S have produced a sincere and original album without departing from the typical melodies expected by their adoring fans. The theme of love is inspiring and upbeat where it could have easily been soppy and tacky. When the album draws to a close with the soft guitar of Sunday’s Pretty Icons it does make you want to reach out and hug something.
Overall, this is a fantastic return to form by Belle and Sebastian, staying true to their distinct summery style yet venturing into new territory. This album is definitely up there with the best albums of 2010; if only it had been released 3 months ago then Scotland may have been a little bit warmer.
Label: Rough Trade, released on October 11, 2010
Belle and Sebastian play Barrowlands on 19th,20th,21st Dec 2010