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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

I Must see them Live NOW

Belle & Sebastian sound great on all of their albums, but sound even better on their live CD. There are subtle differences to the way Stuart Murdoch sings some of the songs and it makes for a fairly different listening experience to the original "If You're Feeling Sinister" album. Also, the musical accompaniment is very impressive (listen to the strings and trumpets on "Get Me Away I'm Dying" and you'll see what I mean.) Overall this is a must-have for fans and is a testament to a band that simply cannot put out anything but a good record...

Absolute must-buy

This is a band at the top of its game. I also should mention that the sound of this live recording is some of the clearest I've ever heard - crucial for a group as large and complex as this one. The layers of sound come through exquisitely. IYFS is one of the best albums ever recorded, and this concert offers a new dimension to a classic.

Best Live Album Ever!!!

I cried the first night I heard this, because it is so amazing!!!! I wish I would've gone to the concert. It is my favourite live album I have ever heard. I recommend this album for every fan and non-fan who has never seen them live. After hearing this, you will definately rush to get a ticket to see them the next time they are in your area. And you will want to be close. Trust me.


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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