Sunday, August 30, 2009

Belle and Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister (1996)

Number 14 in Pitchfork's list of the top 100 albums of the 1990s, it's been said that this marks the high point in Belle and Sebastian's career. While that is completely and utterly untrue (I actually liked "The Boy With the Arab Strap" and will forever have a soft spot for "Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant"), if you look at Belle and Sebastian from a Tralfamadorian perspective, it's one of the spots that shines the brightest. Stuart Murdoch, the band's leader, says that in his opinion, this is the best collection of songs he's ever written (in other words "If You're Feeling Sinister" : Belle and Sebastian :: "The Photo Album" : Death Cab for Cutie). My personal favorite track is "Get Me Away from Here, I'm Dying," in which Murdoch quips, "Nobody writes them like they used to, so it may as well be me," and goes on to cheer for the success of the boy inflicted with naïveté. This record isn't the Big Bang; it's the serene and calm right before hand. After this album, something happened and new and different things began popping up in the band's career, manifesting in subsequent albums. Murdoch's also said that he isn't completely happy with the album's recording quality, and in response to that (and any complaints about low recording quality in general), I offer three words: Something. About. Airplanes.

For fans of: Andrew Bird, Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire


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