Album review: Belle & Sebastian – Write About Love (Rough Trade)

Belle & Sebastian return to fine form - just leave the panpipes out, guys

When the apocalypse comes, only cockroaches and [a]Belle & Sebastian[/a] will survive to see the aftermath. Despite Stuart Murdoch’s God-bothering and his past tensions with former bandmate and beau Isobel Campbell, the Scottish indie-poppers have been operational for nearly 15 years and, despite a four-year live break, show no signs of retreat. Their eighth record finds them pondering the same winsomely kooky themes they always have. As endearing as it is to hear their tales of lovesickness, God and being bored at work, there is no excuse for using panpipes, as they do on the nostalgia-fuelled ‘Read The Blessed Pages’ – a reflection on Murdoch’s relationship with Campbell, perhaps? Nor is there need to be subjected to [a]Norah Jones[/a]’ singing on Duffy-lite track ‘Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John’, when you have Sarah Martin’s dulcet tones at your disposal. Every time she pipes up – as on ‘I Didn’t See It Coming’ and ‘I Want The World To Stop’ – your heart fairly skips a beat.

Ash Dosanjh

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