I am always happy to listen to Belle and Sebastian’s new offerings. In October, I bought my copy of Belle and Sebastian Write about Love, and I have listened to it dozens (upon dozens) of times so far. I immediately appreciated “I Didn’t See It Coming” and “I Want the World to Stop,” but I only casually liked the others songs. However, I have found that the songs are good “growers,” and now I really like the new tunes, even the ones for which I did not much care at first, like “Come on Sister,” “Calculating Bimbo,” and “Sunday’s Pretty Icons.” “The Ghost of Rock School” is wonderful; I love the imagery in the lyrics. “Read the Blessed Pages” is heartrending.
There have been many fine reviews of the album. Although I disagree with pop critic Brad Bain’s comments about God Help the Girl, he opines the following concerning the new album:
And they really are an ensemble, even now, after a nearly five-year break since The Life Pursuit. Playing as a group has always been one of their strengths; for a band that has an instantly recognizable sound (the first 12 seconds of “I Can See Your Future” or “Write About Love” might as well be someone yelling “THIS RIGHT HERE IS A SONG BY BELLE AND SEBASTIAN”), they have no particularly distinctive instrumentalists, just a finely developed sense of how to support each other’s timbres and rhythms.
I laughed (yes, out loud) when I read that, and his point is very astute. Bain also remarks how the album grows on you—a common review theme for the album. Here is “I Can See Your Future” and those heralding first twelve seconds:
Sarah Martin is cool.