Thursday, February 26, 2015
REVIEW: Belle and Sebastian - Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance
What Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance proves is that Stuart and company are still at the top of the game. Moreover, and perhaps fittingly given the reference to dancing in the title, they are not standing in the same place. While the album includes achingly beautiful pop songs that are the hallmark of B&S, such as "Nobody's Empire", "Allie", and "The Cat With The Cream", it also includes very well-crafted dance songs such as "The Party Line", "The Power of Three", and "Enter Sylvia Path". In fact, the first and second of those dance numbers could fit comfortably with the best offerings from The Bee Gees' disco period (perhaps heresy on an indie blog, but the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack was one of the top 25 albums of the '70s -- there, I said it). But the diversity of this album extends further. "The Everlasting Muse" has an infectious Latin feel with a Klezmer chorus -- perhaps it shouldn't work but in the hands of B&S you feel like standing and stomping around while clapping. Other tracks bear the soaring glossy feel of Scandinavian pop or a touch of soul. "Perfect Couples" ventures into funk. This album deserves to be heard now, and it will continue to give pleasure for a long time. It is broadly conceived, playful, professional and full of heart.
For this album Belle and Sebastian are Richard Colburn, Mick Cooke, Chris Geddes, Stevie Jackson, Bob Kildea, Sarah Martin, and Stuart Murdoch. Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance is out now via Matador Records.