Belle And Sebastian

Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant

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For their fourth and most cleverly titled album, Glasgow's fey folk-popsters Belle & Sebastian have constructed another11 songs that at times reach into new musical and lyrical areas. Following secondary composer Stuart David's departure, de facto leader Stuart Murdoch divides the songwriting chores among the other members; yet what's apparent is the single-mindedness of Belle & Sebastian's song focus.

The overall mood is even softer and more precious (if that can be believed) than their previous efforts. Murdoch and Chris Geddes' "Don't Leave The Light On Baby" is the band's attempt at a '70s soul ballad, a Wurlitzer adding a Music-of-My-Mind vibe to a lovers' dissertation. Isobel Campbell's "Beyond The Sunrise" is biblical Celtic-prog-folk, all flutes and acoustic guitar, while Jackson's own "The Wrong Girl" is an upbeat, country-ish lament with typically soulful Belle & Sebastian strings and trumpet giving the song an understated melodic kick. Of course, Murdoch contributes a classic or two - "I Fought a War" is a gentle away-at-the-battlefield tale imbued with the greatest sense of dread Murdoch's ever given a song. And "Woman's Realm" is the kind of pop stomper "Arab Strap" was packed to the gills with, highlighted here by its increasingly quiet surroundings.

TRACK LISTING

1. I Fought In A War
2. The Model
3. Beyond The Sunrise
4. Waiting For The Moon To Rise
5. Don't Leave The Light On Baby
6. The Wrong Girl
7. The Chalet Lines
8. Nice Day For A Sulk
9. Women's Realm
10. Family Tree
11. There's Too Much Love

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