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Storytelling

Belle and Sebastian

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Album Review

Much like the film Storytelling itself, which was drastically edited and censored before finally reaching theaters at a running time just short of 90 minutes, Belle & Sebastian's music for the movie barely appeared in the final cut. All of their work appears on Storytelling, for better or worse — it's an occasionally jumbled, yet undeniably pleasant, collection that unsurprisingly feels like a hybrid of a proper Belle & Sebastian album and a more traditional film score. The strings, horns, and harmonicas that drive instrumental tracks like "Freak," "Night Walk," "Consuelo," and "F**k This S**t" have a definite retro vibe that also extends to songs like "Wandering Alone" and "Black and White Unite," which sounds a bit like the band covering Simon & Garfunkel's soundtrack for The Graduate. Though some of the other songs, such as "I Don't Want to Play Football," are disappointingly short, more substantial songs like "Big John Shaft," the surprisingly upbeat "Scooby Driver," and the bouncy title track make the album worthwhile for die-hard Belle & Sebastian fans. The only real misstep is the inclusion of so much dialogue from the film — it didn't work that well in the movie, and in this context it's especially distracting. In all, Storytelling is a frustrating release from Belle & Sebastian; it's not exactly a complete album, it's not as satisfying as their best EPs, and yet it displays enough of the group's charm that it's difficult to dismiss entirely.

Customer Reviews

if i had iTunes money, i would buy this

i really love movie soundtracks and this is a good example of a mix between a very original band like Belle and Sebastian and movie soundtracks. Fiction is haunting by being eerily cheerful but more so depressing. Each song has so many lawyerrs although it gets awkwardly repetitive..

Biography

Formed: 1995 in Glasgow, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

A band that takes its name from a French children's television series about a boy and his dog would almost have to be precious, and to be sure, Belle & Sebastian are precious. But precious can be a damning word, and Belle & Sebastian don't have the negative qualities that the word connotes: they are private but not insular, pretty but not wimpy; they make gorgeous, delicate melodies sound full-bodied. Led by guitarist/vocalist Stuart Murdoch, the seven-piece band has an intimate, majestic...
Full bio