[one_half last=”yes”]BELLE AND SEBATIAN
Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance
Label: Rough Trade Records / Matador Records
01. Nobody’s Empire
03. The Pary Line
04. The Power Of Three
05. The Cat With The Cream
06. Enter Sylvia Plath
07. The Everlasting Muse
08. Perfect Couples
09. Ever Had A Little Faith
10. Play For Today
11. The Book Of You
12. Today This Army Is For Peace
NBHAP Rating: 3,5/5
Be popular, play pop?
‘Be popular, play pop, and you will win my love’, might be one of the most concise sentences of BELLE AND SEBASTIAN‘s ninth record. But the song, that goes with it, The Everlasting Muse with its klezmer chorus, is not the only one that undermines this credo. Girls in Peacetime… comes up with an ambitious genre-mix from europop (Enter Sylvia Plath) to tender violins (Ever Had A Little Faith) to atmospheric minimalism (Today This Army Is For Peace) and recurring retro charm.
Space for self-discovery
The opening track Nobody’s Empire is advertised as ‘the most personal song’ Murdoch has ever written. It’s about Murdoch’s chronic fatigue syndrome that kept him housebound for a long time and about a girl who made this time more bearable. But it’s not the point if some lines are written in first person or not. It’s more important to give the listener space for identification and the songs with their little stories often succeed in doing this.
The temporary muse
Its unpredictability is the big strength of this album. With every song one gets the feeling to get to know the band anew. There are true highlights like The Pary Line, a great retro synth number that really makes you want to ‘jump to the beat’ on some indie dance floor. But there also are unnecessary tracks like the shallow The Power Of Three and Allie, in which the singing and the over-excited instrumentation clash. The faster tracks are way more convincing, than the slower ones.
Even if times are far from peaceful, BELLE AND SEBASTIAN’s ‘Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance’ will give us wonderful moments under the mirror ball of some indie disco.