Belle and Sebastian

The good news is that Belle and Sebastian are back after some time apart with members recording solo albums. The bad new is that this is definitely not their strongest album.

On their eighth album indie pop group Belle and Sebastian have done something they never have before. They have recorded an entire album of truly upbeat songs. It's hard to believe that the topic of love (which is the predominant one on the album) is what makes these natives of Glasgow feel hopeful. Each of the 11 tracks is about love, falling in love or even office flings.

The sound is quite retro with them sounding like The Smiths on a couple of tracks and I'm still not sure it works for them. Many of the songs sound like they would have fit better on other artists' albums. It is a pleasant album and that could be the problem. I'm not sure their fans want to hear a more mainstream effort from them.

Norah Jones and actress Carey Mulligan make vocal guest appearances on the tracks "Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John" and "Write About Love".

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