- Audio CD (18 Mar. 2009)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Republic of Music
- ASIN: B000007WJ5
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,896 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
If You're Feeling Sinister CD
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If You're Feeling Sinister
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Top customer reviews
I love this album a lot, but feel it doesn't always get a mention over some of their others, the slow building start of "The Stars of Track and Field" sets you off and the album continues with lovely twee references mixed among songs with real depth.
track list is as follows
1. "The Stars of Track and Field" 4:48
2. "Seeing Other People" 3:48
3. "Me and the Major" 3:51
4. "Like Dylan in the Movies" 4:14
5. "The Fox in the Snow" 4:11
6. "Get Me Away from Here, I'm Dying" 3:25
7. "If You're Feeling Sinister" 5:21
8. "Mayfly" 3:42
9. "The Boy Done Wrong Again" 4:17
10. "Judy and the Dream of Horses" 3:40
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
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.