Sunday 8 December 2019

Music: Write About Love by Belle and Sebastian * * * *

Belle and Sebastian aren't to everyone's taste
Belle and Sebastian aren't to everyone's taste
John Meagher

John Meagher

The head of the now-defunct Creation label once famously described Coldplay as "music for bedwetters". Yet, whenever I hear McGee's Scottish compatriots Belle and Sebastian, I can't help but think of his barbed rejoinder.

Let's just say the collective's fey, delicate songs are not to everyone's taste. This, their eighth album, is largely cut from the same cloth as before, but there's a definite up-shift in their sound too.

Are Stuart Murdoch and co tired of being stuck in an indie ghetto? Do they want mainstream recognition? If so, having Norah Jones on hand certainly helps. Her captivating vocals illuminate the lovely Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John.

They've another guest up their sleeves on the title track. Actress Carey Mulligan -- currently to be seen in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps -- may not boast Jones's prowess in front of a microphone, but she brings an easy charm to the song that's quite in keeping with the B&S template.

The album's finest pop moment, the giddy I Didn't See It Coming, doesn't require celebrity help. A sparkling three-minute gem, it opens the album and gets the band off to a flyer.

Burn it: Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John; I Didn't See It Coming

Irish Independent

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