Belle and Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Belle and Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress

by Dan Clay Rating:8.5 Release Date:2003-10-06

Scotland's quirky maestros reached a turning point after their fourth, mediocre album Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant. Though not a bad record, it represented the end of the line of sorts for the band's trademark whimsical Indie-pop - change was in the air.

And so when their fifth album proper (2002's Storytelling was a soundtrack LP) appeared in 2003 with Trevor Horn as producer, fans might have been forgiven for a brief haze of hesitancy in welcoming their more polished and commercial sound. Gone were some of the rougher, acoustic flights of their early albums and in came the radio-friendly pop of lead single

. With Stuart Murdoch taking over songwriting duties fully after Stuart David's departure, a pleasant consistency flowed throughout the album as the tracks showed a welcome return to B&S's catchy melodies and odd tales.

Opener

' remains probably the most accessible song on the album. Like something you think you've heard before, its melody catches fire in your mind as Stevie Jackson's guitar riffs echo around your head.

Of the latter songs, 'Lord Anthony' was destined to become a live favourite, telling of a young boy's encounters at school, while 'If You Find Yourself Caught in Love' races along after a unusually slow intro. However it's

which sets the second half of the album on a comparison with the first; a catchy, simple bassline developing into a terrific third single.

The fact the album nearly grabbed the Mercury Prize is no surprise; the fact the band managed to take the ingredients of their revival from here and create their most radio-friendly, accessible and down-right enjoyable album of all time in 2006's The Life Pursuit means their next album could now be something really special.

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