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Belle & Sebastien – If You’re Feeling Sinister (1997)

April 16, 2014

[Album 304/1001]220px-Belle_And_Sebastian_-_If_You're_Feeling_Sinister

A few days ago, my wife & I were discussing how lucky we are to have such good friends.

As a happy coincidence, the three ‘B’ artists to be featured this week each remind me of certain types of friends.  So it’s become a 2 for 1 theme week I suppose!

Friend type #1:  It seems as if you’ve known each other for ages, even if it’s only been a few years.

That’s the vibe I get from listening to Belle & Sebastien (B&S): it feels like a group I’ve been enjoying forever, even though I heard Tigermilk for the first time less than 365 days ago.

Compared to Tigermilk, If You’re Feeling Sinister has more in the way of standout tracks.  As a track & field coach, I was pleased to hear the sport get a shout out on the opening track, even with the accompanying sarcasm about its ‘beautiful people.’  Like Dylan in the Movies is another gem, along with Me and the Major, but you can’t go wrong with any of the ten tracks.

In the comments section of my last post, I was pleased to see a few people choose B&S as one of their top 5 B artists.  Based on those recommendations and the strength of these first two records, I’m definitely interested in hearing more.

I continually found myself singing three songs by three other artists after listening to B&S:

– Nick Drake, Hazy Jane II. Lead singer Stuart Murdoch has a similar delivery and that couldn’t be further from a complaint

– The Smiths, Half a Person. If B&S are half as good as The Smiths, I suppose The Smiths would still be twice as good, but being mentioned in the same sentence is flattery all the same!

– Airborne Toxic Event (ATE), Girls in Their Summer Dresses. A pleasant tune by one of my favourite groups from the 21st Century wouldn’t sound out of place here.

So if Nick Drake-Smiths-B&S-ATE is the 70s-80s-90s-00s lineage, that’s pretty good company.

If You’re Feeling Sinister
is pretty darn good as well.

From → 1990s

  1. jprobichaud permalink

    It’s interesting that the Smiths and that ATE b-side were mentioned (in nearly) the same breath. I always thought it sounded like something from Morrissey’s pencil case. Great B&S record too. Though, really, they all are…

    • When I first heard that ATE tune, it didn’t take me long to decide I was going to be a fan of the group!

      B&S sounds like a group that would be remarkably consistent – is there another standout record that should be explored next? or just go through their discography chronologically?

      • jprobichaud permalink

        I’d say my two favourite B&S albums are “The boy with the Arab strap” and “Dear catastrophe waitress” but, yes, they are all quite good. I think they have a new one coming out this year too.

  2. Why do I have an urge to watch High Fidelity again…


    • I wouldn’t say this meets Cusack’s criteria of ‘something I can ignore’ – too many tracks stood out!

  3. This is an album that might accompany me my whole life. Easy listening, and just basically awesome. My prediction is that you’ll like The boy with the Arab Strap as well. Do you have it on your 1001 list?

    • It’s only tigermilk and sinister (at least in the 2005 edition of the book that I have).

      It seems to be unanimous though from everyone I’ve spoken with – each B&S album deserves to be heard!

  4. Boy With The Arab Strap, I love that song! I need to listen to more B&S I think. Incidentally, have you listened to Isobel Campbell (of B&S fame) and her duet albums with Mark Lanegan? They are pretty good too.

    • I haven’t heard – or heard of – but that’s half the fun of this project, learning about at least another 1001 that should also be investigated!

      • Check them out man, they have a kind of Nancy Sinatra/Lee Hazelwood vibe to them.

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