The Times – Metro – This Is Just A Modern Rock Song
05th December 1998
Record Review

Their singularity is what makes Belle & Sebastian so special. They sound like no other band operating today and make no concessions to the usual music business shenanigans; they don’t do interviews, publicity shoots or videos. All they do is make beautiful, funny, touching music. ‘This Is Just A Modern Rock Song’ is another instalment of band leader Stuart Murdoch’s fascination with oddball outsiders from his home town, Glasgow (“Emma didn’t have a single penny/she stuck her finger in the air/she tried to flag down an aeroplane/I suppose she needs a holiday”). And the music which envelopes Murdoch’s crystal-clear folk voice? It’s occasionally fleet-footed, sometimes sombre but always dextrous. Imagine a post-pubescent choirboy fronting the Tindersticks and you’re almost there. Forget the huffings and puffings of the rock-bore crew; this is a modern classic.

Paul Connolly

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