Album Preview: Belle & Sebastian — “Write About Love”

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Hear Belle & Sebastian’s new CD “Write About Love” streaming now as part of KCRW’s Album Preview series.

From KCRW DJ Dan Wilcox:

Somewhere there is a purist Belle & Sebastian fan who is not happy (imagine that…), who longs for the gentle arrangements and careful whispers of “If You’re Feeling Sinister” in favor of the rich (even sometimes glossy) production and bold, spirited songs of recent Belle & Sebastian albums.  However, one might argue that the band has always been diverse.  Don’t forget the twee-techno of “Electronic Renaissance” from their 1996 debut Tigermilk, and that this sonic exploration — once again shepherded by producer Tony Hoffer (Beck, Air, Phoenix) — is a natural evolution for the increasingly eclectic songwriting of bandleader Stuart Murdoch.

Murdoch sounds renewed after putting Belle & Sebastian on hiatus to purse his God Save the Girl project. The new record swings effortlessly from the technicolor pop-psych of the lead-off track “I Didn’t See It Coming” to the New Wave synth bounce of “Come On Sister” to the dreamy yearning of “Calculated Bimbo.”  “Write About Love offers up a few surprise guests as well, with both Norah Jones (“Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John”) and actress Carey Mulligan (“Write About Love”) complimenting Murdoch’s voice perfectly.

As you have come to expect, the characters in Stuart Murdoch’s narratives — tales of a weary officeworker who takes her lunch up to the roof or a school kid sneaking cigarettes after gym class — are so completely realized, familiar and vivid you feel like you can reach out and touch them.  One of the songs on the record is titled “I’m Not Living In the Real World” and we can all be thankful that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Dan Wilcox, KCRW Music Host and DJ

“Write About Love” Track listing:

Belle and Sebastian Write About Love1. I Didn’t See It Coming

2. Come on Sister

3. Calculating Bimbo

4. I Want the World to Stop

5. Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John [ft. Norah Jones]

6. Write About Love [ft. Carey Mulligan]

7. I’m Not Living in the Real World

8. Ghost of Rockschool

9. Read the Blessed Pages

10. I Can See Your Future

11. Sunday’s Pretty Icons