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If You’re Feeling Sinister (Live)

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Album Review

Belle & Sebastian's second record, If You're Feeling Sinister, is, for all intents and purposes, really their first, since their debut in 1996 was not heard outside of privileged inner circles. And If You're Feeling Sinister really did have quite a bit of an impact upon its release in 1996, largely because during the first half of the '90s the whimsy and preciousness that had been an integral part of alternative music was suppressed by grunge. Whimsy and preciousness are an integral part of If You're Feeling Sinister, along with clever wit and gentle, intricate arrangements — a wonderful blend of the Smiths and Simon & Garfunkel, to be reductive. Even if it's firmly within the college, bed-sit tradition, and is unabashedly retrogressive, that gives Sinister a special, timeless character that's enhanced by Stuart Murdoch's wonderful, lively songwriting. Blessed with an impish sense of humor, a sly turn of phrase, and an alluringly fey voice, he gives this record a real sense of backbone, in that its humor is far more biting than the music appears and the music is far more substantial that it initially seems. Sinister plays like a great forgotten album, couched in '80s indie, '90s attitude, and '60s folk-pop. It's beautifully out of time, and even if other Belle & Sebastian albums sound like it, this is where they achieved a sense of grace.

Customer Reviews

Well duh.

1) It's Belle & Sebastian. 2) It's one of their best albums, live. 3) It's Belle & Sebastian. There is no reason not to buy this album. Perfect in a rainy city like Vancouver. Walking around in the rain with this album on your iPod will either brighten your day, or make you sad enough to match the gloomy weather. But that's ok, because since the weather and your mood match, it's great on a whole different level. For some reason, then end of "Like Dylan In The Movies" always makes me tear up. Anyway, well worth the $9.90. I'd pay more.

ultimatly a dream come true

this album is so chill and full of magic i just love every album they have released over these passed years, this one is truly special a good one to just chill out to and live and love and be delighted. "judy and the dream of horses" is peachy perfection, they have really hit an excellent note with this album. although my favorite album has to be "fold your hands child, you walk like a peasant" this one is up there to, and im so thrilled to have a new album to listen to and love. i know anyone who loves indie beats will love this album i hope you all enjoy and listen to it a lot.(love and heart)


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 sound that...
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