Belle and Sebastian - The Boy With The Arab Strap

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:2009-03-18

This highly anticipated album from Belle and Sebastian arrives with every hope satisfied. Each song is a cunning short story that wraps itself around you like a cosy couch throw. The loose theme running through this 12-song reverie is seduction. It plays out in both the drowsy sexual hopes of principal songwriter Stuart Murdoch's idle protagonists and the giddiness of bandmate Stevie Jackson's "Seymour Stein" and "Chickfactor", which document his bewitchment by the city of New York, its beautiful girls and florid pitchmen. The complex arrangements favour a whimsical diversity best experienced in "Sleep the Clock Around", which features synthesiser bloops, trumpets and bagpipes! If you haven't figured out that this Scottish eight-piece deserves every iota of hype it's receiving, it's time to have your ears checked and your record collection gone over by a certified professional. --Lois Maffeo

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