1998 wasn’t ready for Belle & Sebastian. They were too uncool and Scottish for 90’s Cool Britannia, and you couldn’t sell Americans on literary allusions, references to French pop culture, verbose Morrissey-esque song titles, or tunes without a hook or chorus. An Arab strap, as it happens, is another word for cockring, which may actually have been the only thing about the third Belle & Sebastian album that could have been used to stir up some hype, except that Stuart Murdoch claimed that he hadn’t even known the sexual reference. Today, of course, all of the above are #mood #aesthetic #softgrunge etc. and totally on-point for a generation too clever for pop but too sensitive to listen to loud music. In short, this album was way ahead of the curve for its time.