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39 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catchy and pretty damned cool !
Never really expected that much from the new album from Belle and Sebastian, but hey how wrong I was. With a really strong opening with "Step into my Office, Baby" and the title track, "Dear Catastrophe Waitress", the scene is set for a much more cohesive package of tracks than has been seen on a B+S release for quite some time. The production from legendary 80's producer...
Published on 4 Nov 2003 by Mr A N Matheson

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12 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not awful, might grow on you
A lot of people are going to hate this. Those familier with the charm of the previous work may well fall into that catergory. The production is overpolished to the point of being dire, seems missing so much of the charm I found on earlier works.
Not that it's full of terrible songs by any means and the polished production will undoubtedly attract new listeners and...
Published on 15 Sep 2003 by Apparatchik


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catchy and pretty damned cool !, 4 Nov 2003
Never really expected that much from the new album from Belle and Sebastian, but hey how wrong I was. With a really strong opening with "Step into my Office, Baby" and the title track, "Dear Catastrophe Waitress", the scene is set for a much more cohesive package of tracks than has been seen on a B+S release for quite some time. The production from legendary 80's producer Trevor Horn is far more subtle than you'd expect and has made B+S sound as damned cool as they should be. Already when I listen to Piazza, New York Catcher I can find myself humming the opening bar as it's so catchy and memorable. Overall though the real reason this album works so well is that all the numbers here flow together so well. Above all else Stuart Murdoch's songs of bittersweet romances and fantasy relationships are as good as anything he's ever written. One of my favourite cd's of the year so far.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Trevor Horn, Still B&S, 14 Oct 2003
You know how you can really love two tastes, just not together? Like Mint & Orange. That's what I feared this would be. Trevor Horn, giant of the 80s production and B&S, fey indie popsters. Would they mix?
Well, fortunately they do. This is not a Trevor Horn album, it's a brilliant case of a producer bringing out the best in the band. Well done Trev, this is Belle & Sebastian in 2003 and sounding good. The vocals have never been stronger and the production smoother.
"I'm A Cuckoo" is the highlight; chunking guitar and sweet tune. Duff rhyme on "Thin Lizzy-o" though! And, despite what other reviewers say here, I like "Roy Walker". It's the only track that uses vocal harmonies.
Weakest, and strangest, track is 'Stay Loose', which does rather seem to be tacked on at the end. B&S does New-Wave circa 1981. And an extended guitar solo??
Only time will tell if it's as good as earlier stuff, but a definite recovery since 'Fold Your Arms' and a strong record.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Pop Genius!!!, 23 Oct 2003
By 
When I heard Trevor Horn was producing this album, I have to admit I feared the worst. Upon initial listening the first thing I noticed was the production, it seemed just too lush. Gone, I thought, is the indie charm that made me love all their previous work, something didn't seem quite right?
How wrong I was! Since then, I have had this album on constant rotation. Stuart's songwriting is as great, if not better than ever, as are the arrangements. There are just too many standout songs to go into any great detail here. Buy this album and try not to smile as you listen to opener, Step Into My Office, Baby, and the pure pop of, I'm A Cuckoo, with it's obvious nods to Thin Lizzy.
Belle & Sebastian have come a long way from their classic debut, Tigermilk, and are sounding every bit as good for it.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Direction, But Better For It., 10 Sep 2003
By A Customer
Yes yes, it's not all twee acoustic guitars now but it's still fantastic.
Dear Catastrophe Waitress sees B&S move forward a decade or two in their sound and they've produced an album containing many fantastic pop songs. Really, this is what all pop music should sound like.
A couple of disappointments in 'Asleep On A Sunbeam' and 'Roy Walker', which both do little, but tracks such as 'I'm A Cuckoo' which rips off Thin Lizzy and the pacey number 'Wrapped Up In Books' with classy harmonies throughout show that B&S have progressed as a band and can maintain a high standard.
Don't believe the doubters, they're stuck in past!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Introduction to B&S, 3 Sep 2004
This was my first B&S album (notice how I am already calling them by a shortened name ;-)) I think the album is great although a few mates who are long-term fans say it is over-produced. I cannot comment on this not having heard much of them before. What I can say is that this is an album full of tight, catchy tunes combined with clever lyrics and it has spent a lot of time on my CD player in recent weeks. Every review on this site seems to have 4 or 5 stars so I will qualify this one by listing a few of the artists that I never get tired of listening too, hopefully this will help you decide if you think you will like it or not(consider B&S to now be added to this list)... Goldfrapp, Morcheeba, PJ Harvey, FLC, Suede, Groove Armada, Charlatans, Finley Quaye. I will be adding other B&S albums to my collection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums I've ever heard!, 5 Mar 2004
By 
I'm not going to pretend that I have followed Belle & Sebastian since the 'early days' - I haven't. Nor am I going to compare this album to any of their previous ones - I've never heard them.
Infact the only reason I listened to this album was based on a couple of airings of "I'm a Cuckoo" and "Step Into My Office, Baby" which I'd heard recently on the Radio.
And boy, am I glad I did! This album is fantastic and I was hooked after the first play. All the tracks have really catchy, original tunes with great vocals.
If this is, as some of the other reviews suggest, a different direction for Belle & Sebastian, then I just hope that they now carry on in a straight line for a while. I want more of the same please.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Pop, 27 Aug 2004
By 
M. J. Martin "mjefm" (Kirkbymoorside, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Moving away from their folky roots, Belle & Sebastian have at last produced a collection of classic pop songs. The singles "Step Into My Office, Baby", "I'm A Cuckoo" and "Wrapped Up In Books" are indicative of the album as a whole but are by no means the only good songs. "Asleep On A Sunbeam" and "If She Wants Me" are also potential hit singles, sounding not dis-similar to their early EPs of the mid-90s. As their increase in popularity has shown (two Top 20 singles in 2004), it is possible to be gentle and twee without being dull, and this album will appeal to anybody who likes Flaming Lips or Grandaddy ("Wrapped Up In Books" sounds un-nervingly like "Now It's On" crossed with Cliff Richard's "In The Country").
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recaptures the spirit of 97!, 9 Oct 2003
I've been a fan of B&S since I first heard the Dog on Wheels ep, back in 97. At the time it seemed they could just churn out tune after catchy tune. Three fantastic 4 track eps and their best album ('If you're feeling sinister') all put out in not much more than a year. However, they seemed to burn out after '3... 6... 9...'-- 'Boy with the Arab Strap' is vastly overrated, and 'Fold your hands' was just dull. Add a few lacklustre singles, and by the time 'Storytelling' came around, I was so disillusioned I never even bothered.
So where does that leave DCW? I bought it simply because I happened to be in a cd buying mood on the day it came out, and my expectations weren't high-- it took me a couple of days to even get round to putting it in the player. And it's not been off since.
To say that it's a return to form would be a little misleading, since they have never sounded quite like this. Although on paper teaming up with Trevor Horn sounds horrific, it is clear he and the band were thinking along the same lines. If you are sceptical about the collaboration, wait for the moment when the horns come in on 'I'm a cuckoo', and I defy you not to start grinning like an idiot.
They seem to have recaptured the ability to write great pop songs, but have been invigorated by a new direction. It's not the radical change some would have you believe, but seems to be a calculated development. This definitely recaptures the spirit of those first few releases-- buy it now!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars evolution, not revolution, 14 Sep 2003
By 
Andy Smith (Wirral, England) - See all my reviews
The long-awaited new album from Belle & Sebastian does not disappoint. 12 jangly, comfortable songs that slip around the listener with ease and you soon feel at home with the simple, but catchy melodies.
That could apply to most Belle & Sebastian music, but this album shows a clear evolution from previous work. The opening track, and single "Step into my office, baby" is a funky number with rolling drums and sweet synth toots in the background.
Other tracks also show progression from other work, notably "You Don't Send Me" and the excellent "If She Wants Me"
Uber-producer Trevor Horn does not over produce, but adds lovely touches here and there.
The most accomplished and complete Belle and Sebastian album to date should please non-fans aswell as their rabid following.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mercury music award?, 26 July 2004
By 
Mr. D. S. Cooke "Cookie" (Totnes, Devon United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
lets hope so!
Belle and Sebastian have been working hard for years now constantly churning out wholesome chunks pop goodness for the people of the world to consume at their own leisure.
but now, things get serious. Belle and Sebastian have been given a place in the final 12 of the mercury music awards! they have been given recognition for an album which, for me, surpasses all their others and blows any other mercury competition out of the water!
it is a album of music that is divine ion its creating and sublime in the listening.the songs? well... pure pop gems. every one of them. sheer musical class. they seem to be thrown together with such ease but creat such beautiful sounds. the lyrics, are un-earthily impressive, simply courageous and brave but undeniably godly!
the whimsical natutre of the songs generates a charm that is carried through the whole album. and you get a warm glow all over your body just listening to the first two tracks.
thankyou for the music!
oh, and the album booklet has the lyrics in. why doesn't every artist do that?!!
Cookie
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