Belle and Sebastian - A Bit of Previous

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A Bit of Previous:

1 Young and Stupid
2 If They’re Shooting at You
3 Talk to Me Talk to Me
4 Reclaim the Night
5 Do It for Your Country
6 Prophets on Hold
7 Unnecessary Drama
8 Come on Home
9 A World Without You
10 Deathbed of My Dreams
11 Sea of Sorrow
12 Working Boy in New York City

Bee OK, Thursday, 3 March 2022 02:54 (eleven months ago) link

out May 6, 2022 via Matador

Bee OK, Thursday, 3 March 2022 02:55 (eleven months ago) link

Bee OK, Thursday, 3 March 2022 02:55 (eleven months ago) link

Have they ever rocked this hard before? It sounds like the New Pornographers.

Also, Stuart, I don't think you should be holding that kind of mic that way.

No Xmas For Jonchaies (Tom Violence), Thursday, 3 March 2022 03:12 (eleven months ago) link

I thought it sounded like the Smiths.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 3 March 2022 03:17 (eleven months ago) link


STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Thursday, 3 March 2022 14:13 (eleven months ago) link

I'm feeling this. Haven't really listened to them since TLP as I'd assumed from whatever I heard afterwards sounded like spinning wheels, but this is good!

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Thursday, 3 March 2022 15:57 (eleven months ago) link

girls in peacetime is massively underrated. other records ok

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Thursday, 3 March 2022 16:06 (eleven months ago) link

Is it just me, though? Lots of "Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before"? (An ironic title in this case.) Even the harmonica stuff works as a Marr nod.

But yeah, I like this, and I, too, can't recall a note from anything after "The Life Pursuit," after which I had officially Had Enough.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 3 March 2022 16:08 (eleven months ago) link

"i didn't see it coming" is also a huge jam that shouldn't be forgotten

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Thursday, 3 March 2022 16:10 (eleven months ago) link

Write About Love was the last one I really connected with. Third Eye Center had some great tracks, but it started to feel like they were just going through the motions with Girls in Peacetime. Not poorly, just not with a lot of enthusiasm either. In that sense, this new song doesn't sound like much of a departure. It sounds fine and I'll check out the album out of loyalty, but I'm not expecting any revelations (and maybe that's their point by now).

Let's disco dance, Hammurabi! (Austin), Thursday, 3 March 2022 16:14 (eleven months ago) link

iirc people rejected girls in peacetime for the dance-pop which is clearly not them going through the motions??? idk what this thread is on about

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Thursday, 3 March 2022 16:24 (eleven months ago) link

Third Eye Centre always baffled me for the perversity of not including the original version of "Your Covers Blown", their best non-album track from that period

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Thursday, 3 March 2022 16:31 (eleven months ago) link

I keep on thinking, "there's no way this band is still putting out good music", and then listening to their new stuff and enjoying it. New song sounds great to me, their great melodic sense carrying through a harder rock style.

OneSecondBefore, Thursday, 3 March 2022 17:00 (eleven months ago) link

Nobody’s Empire is up there with their best work. Looking forward to this, though underwhelmed on first listen.

Dan Worsley, Thursday, 3 March 2022 17:16 (eleven months ago) link

That harmonica is a bit of a nuisance.

Les hommes de bonbons (cryptosicko), Thursday, 3 March 2022 17:54 (eleven months ago) link

^Yeah, agree about the harmonica but other than that, solid as ever. Girls In Peacetime is definitely underrated; "Play For Today" is one of their towering masterpieces

J. Sam, Thursday, 3 March 2022 18:28 (eleven months ago) link

THIRD EYE CENTRE is not really a 'proper LP'.

HOW TO SOLVE OUR HUMAN PROBLEMS comes closer to being a proper LP, the one between GIPWTD and this new one.

the pinefox, Friday, 4 March 2022 09:13 (eleven months ago) link

I must admit, I don't own THIRD EYE CENTRE and this reminds me that I really should.

the pinefox, Friday, 4 March 2022 09:14 (eleven months ago) link

Went off them for years and ignored Girls In Peacetime until a couple of years ago... Nobody's Empire is indeed as good as they have ever been

PaulTMA, Friday, 4 March 2022 13:32 (eleven months ago) link

Don't agree with that, but glad if anyone plays and likes that LP. (I play it a lot.)

the pinefox, Friday, 4 March 2022 17:30 (eleven months ago) link

Lol just put on "Girls In Peacetime ... " and tbh if I ever listened to this record at all I don't remember a single note so far. But it's good!

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 4 March 2022 17:57 (eleven months ago) link

For a long time now, their albums sound best if you wait at least 3 years after they're released before listening to them.

everything, Friday, 4 March 2022 19:37 (eleven months ago) link

Realised what the intro to the single reminds me of and it is 'Church of the Poison Mind' by Culture Club.

Piedie Gimbel, Thursday, 10 March 2022 08:24 (ten months ago) link


Surely this is their best video ever? God, I hope the whole album sounds like this.

enochroot, Friday, 11 March 2022 01:33 (ten months ago) link

What the heck is the newish bloke with the moustache gazing at in the rafters? A stuffed bird or something?

Still not really feeling this after a week. I approve of the harmonica though.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Friday, 11 March 2022 09:33 (ten months ago) link

New song from the album set to photos from Ukraine and benefitting the Red Cross. Wasn't sure when I was told about it, but I think it's turned out quite powerful

Piedie Gimbel, Friday, 11 March 2022 11:08 (ten months ago) link

these new tracks are a lot better than i was expecting from them at this point

ufo, Friday, 11 March 2022 15:11 (ten months ago) link

Okay, "If They're Shooting At You" is more uncouraging imho.

I really quite liked at least half of the Human Problems tracks and (and Peacetime was overwhelmingly solid) so I guess never really gave up on B&S, despite routinely going many years between actually listening to them lol.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Friday, 11 March 2022 23:29 (ten months ago) link

one month passes...

Oh,this is also out today, I think I'm more excited to listen to this than Arcade Fire.

Bee OK, Friday, 6 May 2022 22:50 (nine months ago) link

I can't seem to get through it without getting distracted and forgetting it's playing. But then I remember B&SWAL being a bit like that at first too, so...

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Saturday, 7 May 2022 05:17 (eight months ago) link

one month passes...

I've been listening to this LP.

The sound is solid and glossy as they usually are now.

The melodies seem to be present.

Maybe what I am missing actually is lyrics that break through.

1 Young and Stupid: I like this and some of the lyrics do actually reach me, but it's blighted by a dire spoken word ending.

2 If They’re Shooting at You: I like the idea of B&S playing soul, the melody is here, but still not sure this works so well.

3 Talk to Me Talk to Me: fast and not that enjoyable I think.

Most of the others not so memorable yet.

8 Come on Home: I think this is the swinging one, a bit like 'nice day for a sulk' if you like, and I quite enjoy it, a highlight.

10 Deathbed of My Dreams: Stevie Jackson sings - bad.

I'm afraid that I still do not enjoy the voices of Jackson and Martin, at least on lead vocals.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 28 June 2022 11:32 (seven months ago) link

I like Sara's vocals, she's limited but has really come into her own, some of my favourite tracks over the last 15 years have been hers.

I have never liked Stevie's vocals at all, and my position on this has only hardened with the passage of time.

Portrait Of A Dissolvi Ng Drea M (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Tuesday, 28 June 2022 11:37 (seven months ago) link

I gave it a couple of listens. It was pleasant but maybe not enough there to make me come back to it

Saxophone Of Futility (Michael B), Tuesday, 28 June 2022 11:37 (seven months ago) link

"Do It For Your Country" I quite enjoy for the vocal, tune, music, though I can't yet tell what the intense lyric is getting at.

The disco? sound of "Prophets on Hold" is not exciting me so much right now.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 29 June 2022 09:51 (seven months ago) link

"Working Boy in NYC" has become my keeper from this LP - I love the descending flute figure, Stewpot's cracked and faltering voice riding down on the lines "Listen to the music of the traffic in the city / Singing to the hope inside you".

Though admittedly the lyrics - "Pray, gay, you are the holy boy outside the scriptures" - are quite clunky/platitudinous/quietist.

Piedie Gimbel, Wednesday, 29 June 2022 10:42 (seven months ago) link

Just heard the song again and though I don't necessarily get the lyrics yet, I think poster Piedie Gimbel has a point - that flute melody which is also the vocal melody is a high point to end this LP.

the pinefox, Thursday, 30 June 2022 11:45 (seven months ago) link

Tiny desk:

They perform "Working Boy in NYC" in their set, so maybe the band holds that song in similar regard.

enochroot, Friday, 8 July 2022 13:21 (six months ago) link

I always say this sort of thing, but they could use some of that slightly looser feel on the album.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Friday, 8 July 2022 14:57 (six months ago) link

I'm feeling exactly the same but... it's hard to imagine a release generating less interest than this one.

paulhw, Saturday, 9 July 2022 23:54 (six months ago) link

I only just recently heard about the last one!

everything, Sunday, 10 July 2022 01:25 (six months ago) link

I think I agree with poster Nag!. That is, the B&S record sound now seems to be slick, tight, seamless - airless? - and I think I would like more looseness, space, liveness.

the pinefox, Sunday, 10 July 2022 08:43 (six months ago) link

Today I read some of the lyrics. While I tend to agree with the favour for 'working boy in NYC', I'm not entirely clear what the song is about, and the very brief line 'Hey / gay' is not a highlight.

I'm not sure what other songs are about either.

Some of the songs seem to hint at some kind of 'domestic crisis', but I'm unsure whether this refers to a literal crisis for Stuart Murdoch, or anyone else, or is simply fictional, and if I think about it, I don't actually want to know about any real-world background.

the pinefox, Monday, 11 July 2022 14:28 (six months ago) link

five months pass...

Late Developers:

01 Juliet Naked
02 Give a Little Time
03 When We Were Very Young
04 Will I Tell You a Secret
05 So in the Moment
06 The Evening Star
07 When You’re Not With Me
08 I Don’t Know What You See in Me
09 Do You Follow
10 When the Cynics Stare Back From the Wall
11 Late Developers

Out January 13, 2023 via Matador.

A sequel to A Bit of Previous and from the same sessions.

Bee OK, Tuesday, 10 January 2023 05:53 (three weeks ago) link

Bee OK, Tuesday, 10 January 2023 05:53 (three weeks ago) link

Late Developers often feels like a summing-up statement for Belle and Sebastian’s 25-year-plus career. “I do feel that maybe we’re at the end of an arc or a chapter or an era or something,” Murdoch says. “I think, in a sense, putting these two LPs out might be the last thing we’ll do for a while.”

Bee OK, Tuesday, 10 January 2023 05:55 (three weeks ago) link

Worrying that the first track appears to be named after a Nick Hornby novel.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 10 January 2023 10:55 (three weeks ago) link

Mad how bad that new song is!

I have met Stuart Murdoch several times socially and he always comes across a little vague and lost. Not interested in any music (or anything else) that you wouldn't expect him to be, saying the same things he probably said 20 years ago. He'll take maybe a tablespoon of wine in a glass and somehow sip at that for an hour, and all the while it's obvious he cannot wait until he's done enough time and can get away. I sympathise with this awkardness very much. But it makes it impossible for me to listen to modern Belle & Sebastian, smothered as it is in the same sense of enervation set to weirdly listless, straight "pop".

Eyeball Kicks, Tuesday, 10 January 2023 19:19 (three weeks ago) link

Ha, I prefer that single to most of “Previous”

Chuck_Tatum, Tuesday, 10 January 2023 19:31 (three weeks ago) link

Been quite open to a lot of their slicker stuff but what we have here is Eiffel 65

PaulTMA, Wednesday, 11 January 2023 00:05 (three weeks ago) link

I like it! To me it seems like it's on a continuum with "Electronic Renaissance"

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 11 January 2023 15:48 (three weeks ago) link

"La ba dee, la dab a dee
la dab a dee, la dab a dah"
would make a great inner arm script tattoo.

enochroot, Wednesday, 11 January 2023 16:59 (three weeks ago) link

I'm loving this album!

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 14 January 2023 13:56 (three weeks ago) link

and I don't hear enervation at all

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 14 January 2023 13:56 (three weeks ago) link

could not make it through the last album, but kind of liked the first song on this one.

I? not I! He! He! HIM! (akm), Saturday, 14 January 2023 17:08 (three weeks ago) link

That's too bad. I also heard somewhere else (maybe it was this thread or maybe it was somewhere on social media) that Stuart intimated this might be the last B&S album for a while. Hoping it's not as serious as all that intimates.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Tuesday, 24 January 2023 20:59 (one week ago) link

Heard the new song, or a new song, on 6music. It didn't sound good.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 24 January 2023 22:50 (one week ago) link

I like both of these new albums now, wasn't expecting to. I don't love them but I like them fine enough.

I? not I! He! He! HIM! (akm), Tuesday, 24 January 2023 23:17 (one week ago) link

i believe Stuart has ehlers danlos syndrome, poor fellow, hope he turns out alright.

I? not I! He! He! HIM! (akm), Tuesday, 24 January 2023 23:18 (one week ago) link

New album is an unexpected kick. Sorry to hear that Stuart's ill.

Sad news, hoping Stuart recovers ASAP.

I'm hearing "I Don't Know What You See In Me" for the first time and getting T Swift 1989 vibes.

J. Sam, Wednesday, 25 January 2023 01:19 (one week ago) link

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