Belle and Sebastian : How To Solve Our Human Problems (3xEP set)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by TheWarmth, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. skyjelly

    skyjelly Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, Maine
    I'm beginning to think they could have told us how to solve our human problems with one, maybe two, EPs. Saving their fans 10 or 20 bucks to apply to something more rewarding and fulfilling would have been one way to help solve a human problem. I don't mean to be harsh. I love B&S. I'm just disappointed that so far this project is doing little for me.
     
  2. TheWarmth

    TheWarmth Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    While I have found plenty to like about the EPs so far, they sure point a spotlight on the fact that Stuart is so far and beyond the best songwriter in the band. Sarah's material is fine, but fairly bland. "Cornflakes" is terrible. I will probably create a Spotify playlist with my favorite songs, too, and I think it'll wind up being a nice album with the duds from the EPs removed.
     
  3. oh1

    oh1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    exeter
    The cd clocks in a touch under 70 minutes. Working my way through it now as an album rather than I guess it's intended batches of five tracks over a three month period. Was only au fait with We Were Beautiful and avoided streaming the first two E.P's. Initial thoughts, not as immediate as the extended Girls... but I adore the band and Everything Is Now and Sweet Dew Lee have certainly registered.
     
  4. TheWarmth

    TheWarmth Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    You already received the cd with all three EPs?
     
  5. PretzelLogic

    PretzelLogic Machine wrapped in butter.

    Location:
    London, England
    Looks like B&S have plans for a cruise next year- if you were all to suggest a reunion performance from the original lineup, it might get some traction…

    BELLE AND SEBASTIAN CRUISE SURVEY
     
  6. oh1

    oh1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    exeter
    Yeah the record company deliveries tend to arrive on a Monday or Tuesday for the forthcoming Friday release date. We only had orders on the cd which is a digipack and the vinyl boxed edition is quite expensive in comparison. A reverse of the previous release where though more expensive the vinyl had exclusive tracks and extended versions.
     
  7. BeardedSteven

    BeardedSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern Indiana
    I'm not sure when I'll get to listen to it but my store let me buy the boxed vinyl today since I was there. There indeed is no option to buy the 3rd one with a box so I'm glad I waited and did not buy the 1st 2 already. Also Newbury has the CD with a signed booklet in case anyone is interested in that.

    How To Solve Our Human Problems With Autographed CD Booklet

    P.S. That cruise sounds like a fun idea but that would have to be a pretty killer lineup all around....
     
    Rob Hughes likes this.
  8. TheWarmth

    TheWarmth Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    I like it when labels give you the download on the day of release. I didn't get EP2 in the mail until 2 weeks or so after it was streaming.
     
  9. Ivan

    Ivan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    Does anyone know who the female singer is on Too Many Tears and Best Friend?

    Again, I'm not all that impressed with this latest EP. Admittedly I rolled my eyes when Sarah started singing on the opener... at least Stuart was on it too. #1 was easily my favourite, 2 has grown on me a bit even with a stinker or two, 3 is very middle-of-the-road. IMO Sweet Dew Lee was the best of the bunch, with We Were Beautiful, Show Me The Sun, I'll Be Your Pilot, A Plague on Other Boys, Too Many Tears and This Is An Everlasting Song the only others I would rate as being decent album cuts. I don't think we really needed a second version of Everything Is Now, definitely not one that is the roughly the same length (5:30) as the first. Best Friend is a very weird choice of closer for the set, considering it isn't sung by a member of the band...
     
    oh1 likes this.
  10. oh1

    oh1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    exeter
    I tend to agree with Ivan . There is a mighty fine 40 minute album within the 70 minute playing time and you feel it would had been edited that way if it was to be a straightforward release. A bit like the album , the singles and their intended b-sides gathered as one whole. It's all a bit sprawling.
    The vocalist on Best Friend is Carla Easton. Celia Carcia , Anna Miles and Therese Martin get the vocal credit on Too Many Tears.
     
    Ivan likes this.
  11. PretzelLogic

    PretzelLogic Machine wrapped in butter.

    Location:
    London, England
    Don't know if it's both songs. but it's Carla Easton from Teen Canteen on 'Best Friend'. She cowrote it too.
     
    Ivan likes this.
  12. TheWarmth

    TheWarmth Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    Too Many Tears is the only track here that I can't get into. The melodies seem kinda awkward and it just doesn't really flow nicely. I'm down with the other four songs, though. It's going to be easy to compile an awesome B&S album from these EPs.
     
  13. TheWarmth

    TheWarmth Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    Consider the following:

    01. We Were Beautiful
    02. Show Me The Sun
    03. There Is An Everlasting Song
    04. Poor Boy
    05. Best Friend
    06. Sweet Dew Lee
    07. The Girl Doesn't Get It
    08. I'll Be Your Pilot
    09. A Plague On Other Boys
    10. The Same Star
    11. Everything Is Now (Part Two)

    This is a GREAT album, IMO.
     
  14. Ivan

    Ivan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    What a coincidence, I came into this thread specifically to post the "album" I made of it too.

    This is mine:
    1 - Show Me The Sun
    2 - We Were Beautiful (Radio Edit)
    3 - Fickle Season
    4 - The Girl Doesn't Get It
    5 - Sweet Dew Lee
    6 - Best Friend
    7 - The Same Star
    8 - A Plague On Other Boys
    9 - There Is An Everlasting Song
    10 - I'll Be Your Pilot

    I know I was critical of The Same Star in an earlier post but honestly, it's probably at the top of my list as far as the "leftover" songs go. For the most part I'm pretty happy with the flow, particularly the first half. Hardest part is, IMO, there isn't a song that really screams "album closer" to me, I originally had We Were Beautiful and Pilot switched, but WWB works much better at the start.

    I will give your tracklist a go and compare :)
     
  15. BeardedSteven

    BeardedSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern Indiana
    After reading so many people saying this set needs a little trimming I am pleasantly surprised at how much I really like the whole thing. The only kind of dud for me is the one Sarah sings. And I usually like the songs she sings. And I'm really just not a fan of when they bring in outside singers. They're never going to get another Lazy Line Painter Jane... So yes the album closer seems a little off too. But overall 2 big thumbs up from me. I like new B&S.

    I will say the 3 "eps" are not thematically different enough to warrant 3 different releases. This simply should have been the new B&S "album" as a 2 LP set. But the deluxe version of the last album (the only version I know) was basically a set of 4 eps. I'm not sure why they are stuck on that. But the tunes are good. They did play a couple of these songs live last year and I liked them then. More of these songs would work great for their live show.
     
  16. CBS 65780

    CBS 65780 "Could I do one more immediately?"

    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    Thought I might get it for the completist that I am of all recorded things B&S. They had the vinyl in my local music store yesterday when I went to look. €49.99!!!
    No, you're alright, thanks.
     
  17. BeardedSteven

    BeardedSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern Indiana
    Ouch. I paid $38 US for mine...
     
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  18. Seminole

    Seminole Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tallahassee, Fl
    I have the CD. I like it. I cannot tell the difference between the EP sections. I like the album. It has a nice "open air" to it. I know that is subjective, vague, and not meant to be a critical analysis.
     
  19. skyjelly

    skyjelly Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, Maine
    Well, I'm feeling humbled. I've was shuffling all 3 ep's this morning and find that I actually like the majority of the songs. I don't know if I was feeling more receptive, or if it was just luck of the shuffle, but there's a good album lurking among these eps.
    Also, while poking around online I see that the Japanese CD has an extra track, "Sometimes". I don't see it anywhere for individual download, and it hasn't shown up on YouTube yet. It would have been nice if it had been included for the vinyl purchasers in one of the free downloads. Hopefully it's the weakest track :)
     
  20. Etienne Hanratty

    Etienne Hanratty Forum Resident

    Location:
    uk
    I also waited for the 3 EP box and, on first listen, I’m a little disappointed. The Life Pursuit has to be my favourite B&S album and ...Write About Love was a massive let down to me. When Girls In Peacetime... came out, it felt like a rebirth. This one takes some of the instrumental elements of GIPWTD but the songs aren’t there, so it very much feels like Write About Love... redux. If history has taught me one thing about B&S, it’s never to write them off, but I’ve got very little enthusiasm to listen to it again and the fact I’ll have to get up five times to flip or change the record doesn’t help.
     
  21. guerilla1977

    guerilla1977 Forum Resident

    I need a few more spins before I can create my own "40-minute album", but one thing I know already: Cornflakes is literally a painful listen. It makes my head hurt. Like Mother from Synchronicity
     
  22. Ivan

    Ivan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    Today I listened to a back-to-back triple-punch of Write About Love, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, and my version of Human Problems. I'm enjoying each and every one of the new songs that I picked, and they beat the heck out of a lot of the Write About Love material (with the exception of I Can See Your Future, Sundays Pretty Icons and, MAYBE, I Didn't See It Coming). Overall, Girls in Peacetime is still my favorite B&S album as it is just so EPIC.

    There are a lot of songs that stylistically could fit on earlier albums - Show Me The Sun could be from The Life Pursuit, We Were Beautiful and The Girl Doesn't Get It could be from Girls in Peacetime. If the production was a bit more lo-fi, A Plague On Other Boys and There Is An Everlasting Song could easily be from Tigermilk or Sinister - they remind me a lot of Ever Had A Little Faith, which IIRC was apparently written around the time of those earlier records.

    Easily the worst song they've ever released IMO. There's no B&S song that I outright disliked completely until Cornflakes. I can tolerate stuff like The Chalet Lines or Read the Blessed Pages in the context of their respective albums, but this is one that I think I will always skip.
     
  23. Ivan

    Ivan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    Just found this live performance of Show Me The Sun. Listen to that energy.

     
  24. gohill

    gohill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    Got the cd the other day as it had a nice postcard set signed by the band packaged in with it at my local shop. The 3 x 12" was way too expensive to go for even though i have most of their other main releases on vinyl. Wanted it all on one disc. Have listened to it 3 or 4 times now and there is plenty to enjoy although it is an uneven listen and most certainly does not flow like one album when compiled on one disc. Still, i am glad they had decided to put out all this new material, it works if not thought of as a de facto new album.
     
  25. PretzelLogic

    PretzelLogic Machine wrapped in butter.

    Location:
    London, England
    Given it a sympathetic listen - it seems easier to be a bit more charitable toward it without the weight of history (personal or otherwise) attached to it, and I think I was probably a bit harsh in my earlier post.

    The good parts:

    - Sarah's a stronger presence - normally this would put me off, but her songs are more than passable, and though I don't like the overlapping or multi-tracked vocals, she's a far better singer on this than previously.

    - My initial impression that this would be singer (Stuart, Stevie or Sarah) plus anonymous backing band was wide of the mark, and the others add a definite stamp to the sound.

    - 'Too Many Tears' is a mutant hybrid of 'If She Wants Me' and 'There's Too Much Love' and probably as good as either of those.

    - 'Cornflakes' might be Stevie's best song since...'Jonathan David'?

    The bad parts:

    - I'm struggling to find a really good Stuart song. The big three for him seem to be 'A Plague On Other Boys', 'We Were Beautiful' and 'The Girl Doesn't Get It', and none of them really hit the mark.

    - 'I'll Be Your Pilot' is particularly dreadful.

    - 'Best Friend' is the result of someone sounding like they were commissioned to write a song for a by-the-numbers Scottish indie band. I'm reminded of Veronica Falls (not just because their drummer Patrick - who sadly passed away over the weekend - is on the back cover of The Life Pursuit).

    - (And this is a criticism that applies to the last few albums) Everything, even the quieter moments, is really in-your-face, sonically. One of their great appeals for me is that they were powerful without being loud, so even something like that was a big production like 'Stay Loose' was less wall of sound and more hedge of sound. But here, even the quiet moments seem amped up and there's far less dynamic. I wonder how much of this is down to Mick Cooke not being around to temper them a bit?
     

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