Artist – Album: Belle & Sebastian – Dear Catastrophe Waitress
Released: 6th October 2003
Sounds Like: Belle & Sebastian but with a twist
By 2003, Belle & Sebastian’s critical standing had fallen from indie pop deities to so-so twee past-its. It’s not that they’d changed the formula much from that of their first two glorious albums, but then this was part of the problem – there’s only so far fey alternative rock can get you. The Scots needed to shake things up a bit and, with that in mind, they drafted in superstar record producer Trevor Horn – he of the Buggles fame, and who had produced for Paul McCartney, Tom Jones and Cher amongst others – to mix (get it!) it up.
Subtlety was the key word to his touch, as their twee needed only a tweak. ‘Step into My Office, Baby’ is a case in point – it’s clever wordplay and sly sense of humour (“A sharp suit and a kipper tie, A big arrow pointing to my fly”) was akin to that of their earlier efforts, but the music was slightly more polished and had catchy horns that matched the lyrics playfulness.
Dear Catastrophe Waitress was also helped by the fact that it had some of B&S’s strongest songs since If You’re Feeling Sinister – the aforementioned first track, ‘If She Wants Me’, ‘Piazza, New York Catcher’, ‘I’m a Cuckoo’ (although the Avalanches remix version is even better) and ‘Wrapped Up in Books’ are solid gold.
Albumaday... rating: 7/10
1. Step into My Office, Baby – 4:12
2. Dear Catastrophe Waitress – 2:22
3. If She Wants Me – 5:05
4. Piazza, New York Catcher – 3:03
5. Asleep on a Sunbeam – 3:22
6. I’m a Cuckoo – 5:26
7. You Don’t Send Me – 3:08
8. Wrapped Up in Books – 3:34
9. Lord Anthony – 4:14
10. If You Find Yourself Caught in Love – 4:15
11. Roy Walker – 2:57
12. Stay Loose – 6:41
Listen to ‘Step into My Office, Baby’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMBTUYZeHPk
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