Belle & Sebastian - How To Solve Our Human Problems EP 2

by Jeff Penczak Rating:7 Release Date:2018-01-19
Belle & Sebastian - How To Solve Our Human Problems EP 2
Belle & Sebastian - How To Solve Our Human Problems EP 2

They may have solved our human problems, but I’m still wrestling with their release schedule problems. The second of three EPs that will ultimately be packaged together into their latest album, getting them in five-track chunks is beyond frustrating. There’s no way to resolve the inherent incoherence of listening to one-third of an album. No pace… no groove… no vibes to settle into, just listener interruptus as the pieces of the puzzle (presumably) fall into place and the other musical shoe drops. (I’ve already forgotten what “EP 1” sounded like…not a good omen.) Since Matador have announced that the 3-piece set will be available as a single CD in February (after the other shoe, i.e, “EP 3” drops), there really isn’t any reason to pick this up now – unless you’ve an unbelievable jones for new B&S material.

If you do, here’s what you get: an anthemic opener ‘Show Me The Sun’ that’s bouncy, bubbly, and a sure-fire dancefloor filler (until they lose the plot and pull a 360 into dreamland midway through); dreamland also awaits you on violinist Sarah Martin’s ‘The Same Star’, a tender yearner in The Popguns mould, while ‘I’ll Be Your Pilot’ and the rather Morrisseyesque ‘A Plague On Other Boys’ trippingly slip off Murdoch’s vocal chords like treacle. They harken back to their earliest efforts and will particularly please old time fans of If You’re Feeling Sinister and Boy With The Arab Strap, which both unbelievably turn 20 this year! Their attempt at reviving New Order’s New Wave disco (‘Cornflakes’) is less successful: boring, uneventful, and eminently forgettable.

So there’s a bit more here to attract you to the forthcoming album’s “middle bits”, and we’ll have to wait to see what’s in store down the home stretch. But I still think they should have just released these as three unrelated EPs along the, ahem, lines of the Lazy Line Painter Jane box.

Overall Rating (1)

5 out of 5 stars
  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars

    Push Barman to Open Old Wounds was such a great compilation of the old EPs, perhaps they thought they’d do it again. Except Barman was a retrospective of tried and true !