Put the Book Back on the Shelf/Songs for Children

Image result for belle & sebastian

I thought I’d put it out there that Belle & Sebastian have other albums besides Girls in Peacetime. I’ve been a bit obsessed with that record, but I realize that it was actually a stylistic break for them, a conscious attempt to be trendier. Their earlier work has a very different vibe, less on-trend indie pop and more bedsitter/shoegazer/soft-emo. It’s music for clever kids who grew up reading foreign literature and don’t go out much. If I have to stoop to sounds-like territory I would say this has a vibe reminiscent of The Smiths in their quieter moments (with whom Stuart Murdoch shares a love for very verbose song titles) and Donovan (with whom Stuart Murdoch shares a Scottish accent.) In other words, charmingly literate and slightly twee but with a lot of heart.

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A Politician’s Silence

Yes, this record again. I just keep playing it. I have to say that I’ve never paid much attention to the lyrics of this song before, but that’s where unasked-for lyric videos come in. You’ll find that it has a little bit more depth than the glowing melodies would suggest. Of course, Belle & Sebastian cornered the market on bookish romanticism a while back, with their penchant for wordy, Morrissey-esque album titles. This isn’t quite master level, but it’s not quite your garden variety I-Love-You pop either. The slight touch of doom pushes it over the edge. Love just means more when the world is threatening to burn; it’s a refute to the wordy title.