This ever-growing Britpop legend has come through once again, though with a few weak spots.
After having heard the teaser single, "Legal Man," which is not available on this album, I was surprised at such a new sound and was curious to hear more of their new material. The single does not have the same feeling - that classic Belle and Sebastian mood - that the album does. The opening tracks, "I Fought in a War" and "The Model" show lots of promise, retaining the band's older styles and Stuart Murdoch's wonderfully emotional voice, but still moving forward. However, the third track, "Beyond the Sunrise," completely breaks the flow of the album with mellow acoustics and deep, funny sounding vocals. The album picks up again after this, with wonderful tracks like "Don't Leave the Light on, Baby," and "Family Tree." Some of the lyrics on this release seem a little sillier than previous albums, but for the most part they are still fairly classic B&S. There is an even mix of male and female vocals, and also a balance of dancey and sulky numbers. For the most part, this album, despite those few "flaws," is a really nice listen: quaint.