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I Could Be Dreaming: the Belle and Sebastian song-by-song, album-by-album thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Lance LaSalle, May 21, 2020.

  1. Dave in Preston

    Dave in Preston Forum Resident

    Location:
    Preston, UK
    I quite like the Pet Shop Boys (prefer their early stuff). I like New Order. I would like B&S to be B&S, not a second rate copy of somebody else.
     
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  2. Freek999

    Freek999 Forum Resident

    I like the PSB (even love some of their stuff), same goes for New Order. But I like Enter Sylvia Plath more than any PSB song or New Order, except for Blue Monday
     
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  3. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    But would you agree that the style suits Stuart’s native style more than many of the other pastiche experiments?
     
  4. Dave in Preston

    Dave in Preston Forum Resident

    Location:
    Preston, UK
    I would rather have heard him singing the song over a backing that doesn't sound like a copy of somebody else. I realise that bands want to change, try new things, innovate; but this doesn't come across as innovation. At the moment, not having heard this album in full (I had heard this song and "Nobody's Empire" before) I suspect that I'm going to pay for a download of "Nobody's Empire" and not bother with the album as a whole. And that saddens me. Oh well, there's always Tigermilk . . .
     
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  5. vonseux

    vonseux Re-channeled Stereo

    Location:
    Portugal
    wait, there's still a very nice one coming
     
  6. Dave in Preston

    Dave in Preston Forum Resident

    Location:
    Preston, UK
    Good.
     
  7. therunner

    therunner Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    "Enter Sylvia Plath" is even worse than "The Party Line" for the same reason, I just really detest that tedious beat. This sort of experiment should be a b-side, not cluttering up the album, but that didn't happen on The Life Pursuit either so I can't say I'm surprised.

    2/5


    Yes, but only in the sense that it sounds like Stuart is singing a 'normal' B&S song in his normal style and then afterwards the producer has shoe-horned a Pet Shop Boys backing track on top of it. In other words if the PSB beat was stripped out I can imagine a nice B&S song with typical sounding melodies, whereas in the other pastiches the whole sound (melodies, singing style) is part of the pastiche all mixed up together, so there is nothing obvious that could be stripped out like the PSB beat here.
     
  8. irong

    irong Forum Resident

    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    Enter Sylvia Plath: 4

    It's overly busy and it is no doubt a pastiche, but it's kind of fun too, and considering what they were aiming for with the album, I think it the centre of gravity stylistically and sequence-wise.
     
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  9. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    I'll give it a 4.5: I think that there are a lot of really cool bits in this song: the melody is good, the singing is good: I really like the Stevie and Bobby's guitars, which sounds odd since it's such a programmed, disco-pop type song: but the acoustic-ish guitars on either channel and the sort of loud distorted U2-ish guitar that plays at various points are really fascinating to me, they are doing some really subtle stuff; I love the way Sarah's voice comes in : it's quite suprising. The synth hook is pretty great and the whole seven minute goes by without me feeling llike I'm listening to some epic.

    I'm indifferent to the lyric.
     
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  10. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Our votes for "Enter Sylvia Plath"
    1-0
    2-3
    3-0
    4-4
    5-2
    Average: 3.5
     
  11. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Today's song is "Everlasting Muse", written by Belle and Sebastian; produced by Ben H. Allen III.

    Lyric.

    Dave McGowan: bass
    Ben H. Allen III: additional synth, programming, percussion
    Will Scruggs: saxophones
    Kevin Hyde: trombone
    Joe Gransden: Trumpet
     
  12. hello people

    hello people Forum Resident

    Location:
    Earth
    Have been in the bush for a week, missed all the chat!
     
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  13. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Just listened to this album for the first time since the year it was released, and for the first half I was thinking 'why don't I play this more?', but in the second half I found the answer...

    Anyway, this is the first track of the second half and it's interesting and OK - sometimes I think the mix of styles work, and other times I don't, but it's interesting enough to warrant a 3.5/5.
     
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  14. Dave in Preston

    Dave in Preston Forum Resident

    Location:
    Preston, UK
    This is more like it. Not a drum machine or synth string in sight. 3.5/5

    The melody when the tempo picks up is reminiscent of "Those Were The Days" by Mary Hopkin
     
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  15. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Well
    Well, Ben Allen is credited with programming on this track.
     
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  16. Dave in Preston

    Dave in Preston Forum Resident

    Location:
    Preston, UK
    He's hidden it well, then; but it might not be drum programming
     
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  17. TheGoodDoctor

    TheGoodDoctor It used to go something like that

    Location:
    London
    Not sure what they were aiming for here but it really does not work. An experiment that should have been a b-side.
    2.
     
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  18. hello people

    hello people Forum Resident

    Location:
    Earth
    The Everlasting Muse - I don't mind it. 3.5/5
     
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  19. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    Another great song, the album is really on fire now. I really like the two constrasting sections. 4/5
     
  20. vonseux

    vonseux Re-channeled Stereo

    Location:
    Portugal
    Everlasting Muse 4/5

    but why so looooong? did they became a self-produced band now? prog rock?


    many songs on this album are too long, it says much about becoming self indulgent and the ridiculous 4-LP release.
     
  21. Dave in Preston

    Dave in Preston Forum Resident

    Location:
    Preston, UK
    The opposite, I suspect: they are working with producers who won't say "Stuart, it goes on a bit, doesn't it? Why not trim?". Plus, don't forget, Stuart is a fan of Yes. So expect Belles From Topographic Oceans at some point . . .
     
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  22. therunner

    therunner Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I don't really notice how long "The Everlasting Muse" is, probably because of the changes of style back and forth with the Cossack dance parts which are a great idea. And whatever programming there is in the mix is so unobtrusive that it doesn't detract from the song's appeal at all. One of the 3 best tracks on the album for me.

    4/5
     
  23. irong

    irong Forum Resident

    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    Everlasting Muse: 3.5

    At the beginning it reminds me of 8th Station Kebab House (something like that, I can never remember the title) but it is much better, and the Cosack dance parts (tanks to @therunner for putting a name on it) really benefit the song. Not my favorite, but solid nonetheless.
     
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  24. Freek999

    Freek999 Forum Resident

    The Everlasting Muse 4/5

    I'm not sure why I like/love the pastiches on this album, but they annoyed me enormeously on The Life Pursuit…
     
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  25. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Maybe it's because the pastiches aren't necessarily aping one particular artist, but rather a broader genre? I'm not sure, but I like this album a lot more than The Life Pursuit -- there's something about the busyness of that album along with the smashed mastering that really grates. Compare this one: there's drums, bass, this sort of quiet chirpy rhythm guitar voice and one electric piano...it gets added to, (horns, more guitars and synth) but The Life Pursuit had all the elements going at once all throughout the song. Which makes it hard to listen to.

    I love this song, it doesn't seem like it's a 7 minute long song to me. 4.5/5
     
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