Belle and Sebastian are critic’s darlings that make ambitious music.
That has in turn endeared them to some and caused others to toss them off as a pretentious group of Scottish hipsters. It is what it is.
Contained within are really good songs that are airy with plenty of bottom-end. Opener “Sweet Dew Lee” rollicks through the speakers with a disco flavor yet it maintains its position as a rock song.
The second bow “We Were Beautiful” shifts gears and hangs in the air at times likes the perfect change-up in baseball.
Smart enough to resist the temptation to overdrive the edge in the hook, Belle and Sebastian used a lot of restraint to let the varied instrumentation peek through in harmony with each other.
Vocally moody and often reflective, here we find a set of moments that are not afraid to engage. This band has made a career out of verbally relaying the heaviest things and stating them against cheery backdrops.
It not only became their niche, they begat countless others that chose to slip through desolate and snarky comments into what appears to be quirky, happy tunes.
The Trojan horse effect is on display here and never has it worked so beautifully before. Only one “Fickle Season” does the attitude run stride-for-stride with the music.
It meshes well if only because it only happens once here which forces it to be a standout. The algorithm is flipped upside down as well.
How To Solve Our Human Problems (Part 1) has its fair share of sections that feel bleak but reveal a hopeful nature.
Yes, there is some direct subject matter that could be addressed here. But true to what they are, B&S state things in such a way that something overt can have a double meaning.
And with that being the case, who wants to be the one to spoil something for someone else?