REVIEW: Belle & Sebastian – “Write About Love”

Belle & Sebastian / Write About Love / Rough Trade

It’s a little unusual to be able to picture a band playing a song off of their brand new album on the Merv Griffin Show circa 1965. But it’s not that unusual at all when you’re talking about Belle & Sebastian. In fact, someone could start up a radio station for “New Oldies” and play nothing but The New Pornographers, The Shins and Belle & Sebastian and have a pretty good niche carved out for themselves. On Write About Love, the UK-based seven-piece are sweet and sincere in a not-so-innovative way that is nonetheless fresh by virtue of the fact that, in today’s musical climate, there just aren’t a lot of similar acts out there.

The album couldn’t be much smoother if it had been spooned out of a Cool Whip container, from lead singer Stuart Murdoch’s wistful vocal stylings to the lock step rhythmic instrumentals that back Murdoch and Sarah Martin’s melodic make out sessions (“I Didn’t See It Coming”, “I Want The World To Stop”). A couple of collaborations are also offered, of which the titular “Write About Love” (featuring actress Carey Mulligan) stands out above the snoozer “Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John” (featuring Norah Jones). Still, after such a smooth listen, it wouldn’t be unusual for listeners to seek a slightly more gritty, decidedly more 21st century album to get that sweet taste out of their mouths.

Download: “I Didn’t See It Coming”

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