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Indiepop - Verschenen op 18 november 1996 | Jeepster Recordings Ltd

Booklet Onderscheidingen The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Belle & Sebastian's second record, If You're Feeling Sinister, is, for all intents and purposes, really their first, since their debut in 1996 was not heard outside of privileged inner circles. And If You're Feeling Sinister really did have quite a bit of an impact upon its release in 1996, largely because during the first half of the '90s the whimsy and preciousness that had been an integral part of alternative music was suppressed by grunge. Whimsy and preciousness are an integral part of If You're Feeling Sinister, along with clever wit and gentle, intricate arrangements -- a wonderful blend of the Smiths and Simon & Garfunkel, to be reductive. Even if it's firmly within the college, bed-sit tradition, and is unabashedly retrogressive, that gives Sinister a special, timeless character that's enhanced by Stuart Murdoch's wonderful, lively songwriting. Blessed with an impish sense of humor, a sly turn of phrase, and an alluringly fey voice, he gives this record a real sense of backbone, in that its humor is far more biting than the music appears and the music is far more substantial that it initially seems. Sinister plays like a great forgotten album, couched in '80s indie, '90s attitude, and '60s folk-pop. It's beautifully out of time, and even if other Belle & Sebastian albums sound like it, this is where they achieved a sense of grace. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Indiepop - Verschenen op 1 mei 1996 | Jeepster Recordings Ltd

Booklet
Recorded quickly and cheaply as the first album from Electric Honey, the in-house record label from Glasgow's Stow College's music business program, Belle and Sebastian's 1996 debut, Tigermilk, is a rare record in many respects. Initially, it was simply scarce, limited to a run of 1,000 and not re-released until 1999, by which time Belle and Sebastian were established as one of the great indie pop sensations of the late '90s. It is also rare in the sense that not many indie records are made with assistance from a university, but Tigermilk is rarest in how it captures a band that seems simultaneously fledgling and fully formed. Certainly, Tigermilk bears its share of rough edges -- the subjects linger in adolescence, the compositions aren't as sophisticated as what would arrive just a short time later, "Electronic Renaissance" is the kind of lo-fi synth pastiche bands need to get out of their system in their first year -- but they're splinters on a distinctive aesthetic forged by singer/songwriter Stuart Murdoch. His wry delivery and plummy voice, along with his predilection for delicate folk, disguises his toughness. Tigermilk may be gentle on the surface, but Murdoch's strength is evident in his sardonic storytelling and sturdy craftsmanship, the very things that wound up being the foundation of Belle and Sebastian's career. They're in full flower on Tigermilk, surfacing on tunes throughout the album, but crystallizing on the skipping "She's Losing It," rushed "Expectations," '60s throwback "I Could Be Dreaming," and, especially, "The State I Am In," a masterful melodrama that points toward the richness of If You're Feeling Sinister, which arrived just a few months later. Those are the moments when Belle and Sebastian feel preternaturally gifted, seeming to know precisely who they were right out of the gate. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Originele soundtracks - Verschenen op 24 juni 2009 | Editions Milan Music

Booklet
God Help the Girl was the name Stuart Murdoch gave his 2009 female-fronted Belle & Sebastian project -- a detour so intriguing, he decided to spin it off into another endeavor, also called God Help the Girl. This 2014 project realized Murdoch's original cinematic ambitions, turning the songs from 2009 into a film starring Emily Browning, which means that the 2014 album called God Help the Girl is a bit of a strange beast. It has previously released songs -- one of which, "Act of the Apostle," was pulled directly from Belle & Sebastian's catalog -- remixes of tracks from the 2009 album, several newly performed versions of songs from 2009 now performed by the cast, snippets of dialogue, instrumentals and, finally, three new songs written by Murdoch and sung by the actors. It's at once disjointed and cohesive, a patchwork with a distinct point of view that can be beguiling and frustrating. Murdoch's writing remains sharp and sly, at least as far as the completed songs are concerned. These aren't scarce on the soundtrack but they are scattered, sometimes arriving as clusters ("God Help the Girl," "The Psychiatrist Is In") but often hidden amidst sketches and dialogue. Sometimes, they're undermined by the actors, who have a bit of homely charm that perhaps plays better onscreen than it does on record. Nothing feels ill-considered and the soundtrack often does evoke the sophisticated '60s style that's one of Belle & Sebastian's specialties but, as a record, this is ultimately a novelty: a fitfully interesting footnote in a brilliant career. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo