Customer Reviews


28 Reviews
5 star:
 (17)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like an old friend
This was the first Belle & Sebastian album I bought, and to me, it is very special ... none of the others seem somehow as complete. I believe this is the second offering from the Scottish recluses, and here is a rich collection of beautifully crafted retro-sounding songs, reminiscent of early to mid seventies Al Stewart.

Deceptively simple, and as easy to...
Published on 4 Oct 2006 by John Tree

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars I am new to Belle & Sebastian mellow sounds
I am always looking for something new or old to listen to, Belle & Sebastian have an etheral sound, very mellow
Published 17 months ago by Mr. A. J. Gooding


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like an old friend, 4 Oct 2006
This review is from: If You're Feeling Sinister (Audio CD)
This was the first Belle & Sebastian album I bought, and to me, it is very special ... none of the others seem somehow as complete. I believe this is the second offering from the Scottish recluses, and here is a rich collection of beautifully crafted retro-sounding songs, reminiscent of early to mid seventies Al Stewart.

Deceptively simple, and as easy to settle into as an old pair of slippers, the gently confessional tunes are real growers, and they stay with you long after the CD has gone back in the case. Piano, or guitar based, they are deeply personal, with well observed lyrics sensitively delivered, covering tales of youth and rights of passage and intimate relationships. The romantic bookish imagery creates a yearning whimsy in the listener, and paints a real picture as only songs taken from painful truths can...and just like an old friend, they reward each time you come back to them with fresh insights. Heartwarming
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning!, 3 May 2006
By 
Marc Kuzak "marccous" (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: If You're Feeling Sinister (Audio CD)
This is, in my opinion, the best Belle and Sebastian album by far. It is more sure of itself than B&Ss first effort - Tigermilk, but at the same time not as engineered as subsequent albums. The songs are all beautifully crafted from start to finish. For my money the B&S albums all seemed to be a little more special before they were really famous and if you want to get to the core of what makes people fall in love with Belle and Sebastian then this is the album for you. (I also highly reccommend some of the earlier EP's such as Dog on Wheels, Lazy Line Painter Jane and 3,6,9 Seconds of Light)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If You're Feeling Literate, 23 Oct 2007
By 
This review is from: If You're Feeling Sinister (Audio CD)
Pop music isn't really a literary medium - only Morrissey at the moment really compares as a lyricist - but straight from their first album, the word-of-mouth success "Tigermilk", Belle and Sebastian's songs were more poetic vignettes than the your run of the mill pop that clogs up the charts and radio like so much musical cholesterol.

In Belle and Sebastian's second album, things are more refined - the musical pallete is more sparse, with none of the electronics that appeared on "Tigermilk" or the subsequent EPs. It's straightforward guitars (accoustic, of course, but also a smattering of jangling electric guitar, as in "Stars of Track and Field"), piano, and some understated orchestration (none of the rich arrangements that would colour their third album, "The Boy With The Arab Strap").

Consequently the voice and lyrics are more to the fore. The atmosphere is of repressed emotion, of provincial shyness, subtle tints of colour and emotion. It's a delicate, touching, setting for lyrics which are suitably bookish and introverted, but often with a stinging ironic twist. The opener, "Stars of Track and Field" sets the tone, an ironic ode to the athletes in school, opening so delicately ad ending on a rousing finale. Meanwhile "Seeing Other People", apparently about a gay relationship of sorts, has a lovely piano opening and an excellent chorus with a double-tracked vocal which just soars. "Fox In The Snow" is a sound-painting, and highly effective at that, whilst "Mayfly" is musically joyous even while the lyrics tell a different story.

However songs in the middle section, like "Get Me Away I'm Dying" and even "If You're Feeling Sinister" just aren't that memorable musically. The lyrical whimsy means they come across as slightly silly, whereas on "Arab Strap" similar whimsies such as "A Spaceboy Dream" are effective, pehaps more through more professional (certainly more effective) production.

The album does end on an effective duet of "The Boy Done Wrong Again", all late-night wistfulness, and the stirring "Judy And The Dream Of Horses" which again starts quietly and builds to a peak, a vision of Judy and her eponymous horses. This always makes me think of that chapter in "The Rainbow", horses as a symbol of masculinity and strength, but here it's the "saddest song" she wrote which is her dream of horses. A nice irony.

Overall this is perhaps the third strongest of Belle and Sebastian's albums, behind "Arab Strap" and "Tigermilk" but ahead of the weary and wary "Fold Your Arms, Child" and "Dear Catastrophe Waitress" which is more professional but less inspired. As always the lyrics are wonderful, the atmosphere touching and poignant, but there aren't quite the consistent strength in the tunes and melodies which so distinguish their finest albums, while some of the songs are nonetheless amongst their best, in particular the opening two.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a gentle touch of brilliance, 19 Mar 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: If You're Feeling Sinister (Audio CD)
Every now and then, an album appears that, from start to finish, has you utterly transfixed. This is one of them. Possibly the best of the three and certainly the record to buy if you're new to B+S. Lyrically, it's stunning. Musically, it stays just the right side of twee to be beautiful. The best songs? Fox in the snow and If You're Feeling Sinister, with all the others coming only just second. Definitely one for Sundays and rainy days. Think wistful, think Le Petit Prince and Madeline... a record to drink tea by.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I criticise because I love!, 16 July 2009
This review is from: If You're Feeling Sinister (Audio CD)
This is one of those albums that makes you feel less lonely. It's gorgeous, definitely give it a try! Belle and Sebastian are lo-fi but well worth a bit of adapting to, because they write lyrics like few others... I've heard them described as 'music for people with diaries.' That about sums it up!
My only qualm is that I like some of the tracks far more than others, which can get a bit annoying when you've just heard your dream song and want nothing but more of the same! I especially couldn't be without 'Get me away from here I'm dying', a song for anyone who is desperate for a change and a chance (but is still a bit sad as the end approaches :S ) and 'If you're feeling sinister', which is just beautiful.
So...definitely could be an album for you! Belle and Sebastian never sound produced or artificial, and they are a wonderful escape. Hope my blithering review is helpful!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its just amazing, 28 Aug 2004
This review is from: If You're Feeling Sinister (Audio CD)
I have been a listener of a few scottish bands over the years.I would be in the fanclub of bands such as Teenage Fanclub,BMX Bandits,cosmic rough riders also belle & sebastian.I am a huge teenage fanclub fan and bmx bandits fan and although many of my friends listened to belle & sebastian i never really gave them much of a look.I call those the dark days.This album is just the bees knees and I can't stress that enough to you the buying public.I am now a big b&s fan and if you enjoy melodic genius then this is your ticket.I believe they are the modern day poets that we are lacking in these days.As they put it themselves "nobody writes them like they used to so it might aswell be me" and they are right.To me the music is beautiful and inventive with brilliantly genius lyrics.I say buy it listen and listen because its definetly a grower.I think most belle & sebastian music grows on you until one day you realise just how good it really is.Top marks and I recommend it to you and your goldfish.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Album, 28 May 2004
This review is from: If You're Feeling Sinister (Audio CD)
I decided to write this review after reading some of the lacklustre reviews this album has recently recieved. This album is a classic and with the exception of 'boy done wrong again' I think its the most consistent of all of the b&s albums. One of the lines from 'Stars and Track of Field' generated a huge cheer at their manchester gig last year -> 'you liberated a boy i never rated, and now he's throwing discus for liverpool and widness' - and whilst i admit thats just B&S fans the lines still genius! Other highlights include the beautifully haunting 'Fox in the Snow' and 'Get me away from here i'm dying' which was the song that finally got me fluent with barre chords on the guitar - i used to play it for hours. The whole albums just packed with simple, catchy tunes that B&S are renowned for. Judy and her dream of horses and Dylan in the Movies (the video on the 'fans only' dvd is a must see any B&S fans, its cuts from the home made original video to a concert the band performed years later in New York) are other favourites - but to be honest its all good - this album is never far away from my cd player and just can't speak highley enough about it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars heart and soul beneath the feyness, 18 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: If You're Feeling Sinister (Audio CD)
B & S are often accused of being fey and overly whimsical, and that although these qualities are excusable in the late great Nick Drake, they are not warranted in a bright and shiny pop septet who do not seem to be as introverted or depressive as their obvious hero. Be that as it may, but there's no hiding the fact that Belle and Sebastian produce some glorious tunes.
"Stars of Track and Field" is perhaps the best example, and a great opener - try to imagine Simon and Garfunkel, a tuneful Morissey, and mix with the yo-yo-ing melodies of MacCartney and you come somewhere close. The other great stand-out, "Fox in the Snow" may out-do Radiohead in terms of depression, but it remains a tune as beautiful as any which the Oxford band have ever written. "The Boy Done Wrong Again" is another example of sad wistfulness, topped off with fragile vocals and pared-back instrumentation.
It's unfair to call B & S "folk" - they are much more pop and are only as folk as Simon & Garfunkel (i.e., not very). This monicker, and comparisons to shoe-gazing early 90's non-entities, do nothing to broaden the band's appeal, which is easily tuneful enough to get them onto Radio 2 if they got the chance.
There's also of course the "other side" of the group, the slightly rockier one, evidenced in the half-dozen more upbeat numbers and the wonderful "Slow Graffiti" from the EP "This is Just a Modern Rock Song". This should be enough to get them onto Radio 1 as well.
Forget the style, although this is lovely. It's the tunes (and wonderful lyrics) that count - and these tunes are the match for any group of the last 30 years. Go listen!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Without a doubt Belle and Sebastian's best album, 31 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: If You're Feeling Sinister (Audio CD)
IF YOU'RE FEELING SINISTER was the first ever B&S album I listened to and, unsuprisingly, I immediately took a liking to it. TIGERMILK (their 1st album) is also an excellent album and one of their best, but the one factor that brings IF YOU'RE FEELING SINISTER a level above the rest of their other ones is the consistency it maintains throughout the entire album, whereas, in my opinion, TIGERMILK king of loses it's touch halfway through (but then it fortunately gets it back towards the end). People who are having trouble deciding which B&S album to choose as their first should without hesitation get this one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A must to own., 11 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
One of the best albums out there. Obviously so underrated by many. A must to own especially on vinyl. Right.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

If You're Feeling Sinister
If You're Feeling Sinister by Belle & Sebastian (Audio CD - 2009)
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews