A musical box left playing in a long-abandoned nursery. “A Century Of Fakers”” is the Velvet Underground (“Pale Blue Eyes”, say), and The Pastels, and Donovan, and The Seekers all in one delicious bundle. It’s not fey, it’s not twee: just simple, straightforwardly, beautiful. If you can write a tune this stunning, why smother it with overly-lush arrangements or loud guitars?
In contrast, “Le Pastie De La Bourgeoisie” is a speedy but dark Western soundtrack. The disconcertingly truthful press release – courtesy of guitarist Stevie – reveals that he rates it but “Wee Chris on keyboards thinks it sucks.” Sorry Chris; I’m with Stevie on this one.
It’s only when we get to “Beautiful” that i understand why Belle & Sebastian have left some people cold. It sounds aimless at first; but then it blossoms into something cherishable, if awkward, like a butterfly struggling out of its cocoon. (Besides, ever since Animals That Swim, I’ve been a sucker for poignant trumpet solos.)
So heart-piercingly perfect, I can only prostrate myself in awe.
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