Belle and Sebastian - Write About Love (****)
album review for the skinny
If the near-five year wait since The Life Pursuit and last year’s brilliant brace of albums from Camera Obscura and Butcher Boy led you to question Belle & Sebastian’s standing as indie-pop kings of Glasgow, wait until you hear Write About Love.
While arguably not as consistent as either of those disciples’ recent triumphs, there are parts of Belle & Seb’s eighth studio album as great as anything they’ve done before: When the light and lilting I Didn’t See It Coming is resurrected, after dissolving into space, by the late arrival of starry synths and Stuart pleading “make me dance, I want to surrender!”; when a fragile, metallic shimmer subtly emerges from Come On Sister, and ecstatic male backing vocals less subtly burst from it later; pretty much the entirety of Northern Soul stomper I Want The World To Stop, and the surreally hilarious I’m Not Living In The Real World, a coming-of-age caper inspired by early The Who and Beach Boys.
But perhaps the best moment of all is the final line of closer Sunday's Pretty Icons: a simple, undramatic remark of devastating kindness that’ll leave you choking over the glistening organ outro. Wonderful.
This song really reminded me of Frankie Valli's The Night, even before it got to the "the night, the night!" bit. So, for comparison's sake (and because this is an amazing song that you should listen to right now anyway):