After R.E.M. and The Four Seasons, I’d say Belle & Sebastian is one of my favourite bands. Mike and I are going to see them live in a few months, but this week they’ve released their new album. So, let’s see how it sounds in the Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance review.
The album opens with Nobody’s Empire, which is a great song that sounds just just like Belle & Sebastian’s inimitable style, so it gave me confidence in the album to start with. The heavy beat and staccato lyrics at the end of each line makes it a memorable song. However, it does feel like it builds up to nothing a lot, with the pre-chorus leading into a chorus that is about the same level as the verses. The song is also a bit long for my liking.
Allie and The Book of You are bigger, louder songs. These are more like what I enjoy, the more rock songs. Tracks like The Party Line and Enter Sylvia Plath move into more of a disco style, complete with snazzy percussion and synths. This helps to break up the album with a slightly different style that still flows with the rest of the album. Play For Today does this too, and at 7 minutes long it is surprisingly not too long. Because these songs have such strong lyrics and nice music, you could listen to them for far longer than you usually would another song.
The Power of Three is an odd song. It contains a number of Sherlock Holmes references and it’s all about numbers, so theoretically I should love it. But I don’t. The number theme doesn’t really work, the Sherlock Holmes references are a bit odd because it references one story (The Sign of Four) but it sounds like it was just added in to use that title. The song just doesn’t work for me.
The Everlasting Muse is a weird one. It’s a nice song that goes into a Russian style song in the chorus. Perfect Couples highlights something that is a theme on this album: the use of percussion.
The album is rounded off with Today (This Army’s For Peace). This is the song that most shows the album’s theme of war. Other songs include references to war and related topics. This final song is quite a reflective song; quite slow and it feels like it could end at the fade out about half way through. This track is probably not the one that I would have ended on, because it leaves on a bit of a downer.
Overall the album is a slight change from their usual style, but still has a few really great tracks on there.
Our rating: (3.5 / 5)