Album artwork from Belle & Sebastian's Webstore
Album: Write About Love
Artist: Belle & Sebastian
Label: Matador Records
Even though they've been around for over a decade, most people's only exposure to Belle & Sebastian is a brief scene from the movie High Fidelity, where Jack Black's obnoxious character dismisses them as "sad bastard music." At least with their early albums, this would be an easy mistake to make. B&E have always functioned in an odd world where music never grew much after the late 60s and the volume only goes to 6 or 7, 11 being completely unnecessary. However, thanks to their story driven lyrics and literary bent, they've also managed to create many subversive, sarcastic, and even dark songs hidden behind beautiful melodies. This is the band that can make a song titled "Calculating Bimbo" classy.
Write About Love is their latest effort, and it's partially a return to form. On their last few albums, the band has expanded their sound by reaching as far as the late 70s and R&B, but this collection of songs returns the focus to chamber pop driven stories of odd and desperate individuals. These are songs you can listen to while you work, play at the background in a coffee shop, or actively hang on every lyric through headphones. They may not expand Belle & Sebastian's sound much, but that isn't especially necessary. Every song has it's own charms, and it's a great place for someone new to the group to experience their gorgeous sounds.
Conclusion: A definite buy for Belle & Sebastian fans, those who love indie and 60s pop, and just those needing a gentle sound with a little dark side.
Photo from The Commons on Flickr
---------Nixon Segretti Productions