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Wednesday, 14 March 2012

7. Belle and Sebastian - There's too much love

I missed Belle and Sebastian when they first burst onto the scene. I never really fancied them just because of the name 'Belle and Sebastian' and I'd got it into my head that they were sampling dance producers in a similar vein to Basement Jaxx. It seems odd that I'd never heard anything by them for years, but then someone convinced me I should give them a try because they were just like Arab Strap. With hindsight, I can see where the confusion came from, but it was one of my better decisions when I eventually purchased 'Fold Your Hands Child...' and discovered with some initial disappointment, it was actually nothing like Arab Strab.

Belle and Sebastian have since gone on to a position of unassailable global dominance in the somewhat specialist genre of Scottish-twee-camp-pop. I'd go as far as saying they've produced some of the greatest musical moments of this century and despite the law of diminishing returns kicking in recently, continue in their own little niche world of cardigans, horlicks and literary verse.

The five best things about Belle and Sebastian are:

1. They stick to the plan! No matter what happens they will produce twee-camp-pop tunes. They will never experiment with rappers, samples or mandolins. Sticking to the plan is always a good thing.

2. The fact that Stuart Murdoch always has to sing. And not just backing vocals. Even in the songs that are perfectly suited to the voice of Isobel Cambell for example, where she's doing a cracking job, he invariably has to chip in somewhere.

3. The Storytelling Soundtrack. Apparently they were too late finishing the recording, so they didn't actually put the soundtrack on the film, but the album is a gloriously ramshackle collection of cinematic misfits.

4. The secure knowledge that they will always retain a mid-table birth in Division two of the League Championships of Pop Music.

5. 'There's Too much Love'. My favourite Belle and Sebastian track is a blissful combination of Murdoch's vocals, tinkling piano and orchestral strings. If Isobel Campbell had been allowed to sing on it as well, it could have been even higher in the chart.

1 comment:

  1. Too many highlights to mention! The band has consistently put out great songs for years and years it feels like. Lyrics with a lot of personality and emotion, not so familiar with that track, thanks!

    BTW, if you're interested, I listened to all their albums last year, and shared a few tunes in a songathon: