Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance (LP)


Belle & Sebastian

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Also available in: Vinyl LP, CD

Amoeba Review

01/05/2015

In the latter half of their career, Belle & Sebastian have consistently tried to balance the desire to appeal to a wider audience with more outward-facing pop songs alongside the bookish indie pop that netted them a cult of worshipping devotees in the first place. They’ve never done it quite as successfully as they have here on Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance. Opener “Nobody’s Empire,” with its marching beat, glowing synths and gospel choir backup vocals comes off like a statement of purpose: This will be a richly produced pop album (courtesy of Ben H. Allen III, who’s worked both with the indie-pop elite and hip-hop artists), so gear up. The band comes up with one of its most radio-ready singles to date on “The Party Line,” a disco-rock track with typically clever lyrics and a booming synth riff that won’t quit. The best Stevie Jackson-led song in years comes on the bittersweet beatnik funk of “Perfect Couples.” “Play for Today” is synthy and light, with ace guest vocals from Dum Dum Girls’ Dee Dee Penny. And it’s safe to say Belle & Sebastian have the only ABBA-esque synth-pop track that name-checks Sylvia Plath. But Belle & Sebastian want to do more than make us dance. Several tracks hue closer to their ’90s incarnation while still retaining the fuller production present on the album’s more immediate moments. The European folk-flavored “The Everlasting Muse” is rich with mandolin, horns and clap-along breakdowns. The slow-rolling, string-laden “Ever Had a Little Faith” is reminiscent of early B&S highlight “The Boys of Track and Field.” And Sarah Martin gets to sing lead on both the swoony “The Power of Three” and rollicking “The Book of You,” with some ripping guitarwork to boot. So it’s not the introverted Belle & Sebastian of yore. But this edition of Belle & Sebastian manages to help them evolve without losing what made them special. It’s a win-win for fans new and old, on one of Belle & Sebastian’s best albums in years.



Track Listing



Side A Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Nobody's Empire
Belle & Sebastian 05:08
2.
Allie
Belle & Sebastian 03:16
3.
The Party Line
Belle & Sebastian 04:14


Side B Titles
Artist
Length
1.
The Power Of Three
Belle & Sebastian 03:57
2.
The Cat With The Cream
Belle & Sebastian 05:17
3.
Enter Sylvia Plath
Belle & Sebastian 06:48


Side C Titles
Artist
Length
1.
The Everlasting Muse
Belle & Sebastian 05:25
2.
Perfect Couples
Belle & Sebastian 05:29
3.
Ever Had A Little Faith?
Belle & Sebastian 04:21


Side D Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Play For Today
Belle & Sebastian 07:33
2.
The Book Of You
Belle & Sebastian 04:23
3.
Today (This Army's For Peace)
Belle & Sebastian 05:25

Vinyl
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$24.98
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Also available in: LP , CD
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