Belle and Sebastian - Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance

by Rob Taylor Rating:7 Release Date:2015-01-20

Belle & Sebastian return for their ninth innings, having slotted a few home runs over the years, particularly the six albums leading up to Dear Catastrophe Waitress. Much beloved for their brand of symphonic indie-pop, Murdoch and crew moved to Matador Records and released single 'The Party Line' back in November 2014. ‘The Party Line’ is typical dance crossover; a pliable track which should have mixing consoles on the ready south of Dover, it's perfectly executed and tuneful pop music. 

Better still is Balearic supernova ‘Enter Sylvia Plath’, in which Belle & Sebastian surprisingly pay homage to Pet Shop Boys, although the distance is quite travelable. It's a winning track with a great clubby epilogue but hardly a step forwards. I do however admire Stuart Murdoch's unashamed referencing of successful musical intervals in history.

The rest of the album is high quality indie-pop with some interesting experiments, including Klezmer-infused track ‘The Everlasting Muse’ - taking me back to a band I used to like called Oi-Va-Voi, also British, so perhaps Murdoch was also listening. 'Perfect Couples’ comes on like jazz-funk but essentially reverts to the indie-pop template. The interlocking boy/girl vocals are, as always, beautifully measured; two sopranos in perfect harmony.

The girl on the front-cover might experience physical obstacles, but there’s plenty on Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance to keep the inanimate happy.

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