Storytelling [Explicit Lyrics]

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Lydia Vanderloo
The arrival of Belle & Sebastian's first soundtrack -- and the first album in two years from Scotland's finest pop combo -- is cause for celebration. Storytelling offers slightly more than half an hour of music: seven instrumental compositions and six songs with vocals, all written for the Todd Solondz film of the same name, along with five dialogue snippets from the film that set up some of the songs. As Hollywood would have it, the movie -- Solondz's skewering of American suburban culture -- incorporates only six minutes of B&S's music, so their Storytelling, which arrives six months after the film's release, spins its own tale. The breezy instrumental ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Lydia Vanderloo
The arrival of Belle & Sebastian's first soundtrack -- and the first album in two years from Scotland's finest pop combo -- is cause for celebration. Storytelling offers slightly more than half an hour of music: seven instrumental compositions and six songs with vocals, all written for the Todd Solondz film of the same name, along with five dialogue snippets from the film that set up some of the songs. As Hollywood would have it, the movie -- Solondz's skewering of American suburban culture -- incorporates only six minutes of B&S's music, so their Storytelling, which arrives six months after the film's release, spins its own tale. The breezy instrumental pieces, such as the piano-centric themes "Fiction" and "Freak," display the band's orch-pop with a Breakfast at Tiffany's flair and a bigger-than-normal budget, the strings sounding more lush than ever there's even a harp bit!. As sweet as the alarmingly titled "Fuck This Shit" and "Consuelo Leaving" are, however, it's the vocal tracks that stand out. Sung by Isobel Campbell and "written as an ode to Todd himself," according to Stevie Jackson's liner notes, "Storyteller" is a jaunty analysis of the art of fiction-spinning, while the droll, minute-long "I Don't Want to Play Football" -- just piano and Stuart Murdoch's vocals -- is a mini anthem for freaks and geeks. Three tunes are successful character studies: "Wandering Alone," a peppy, vaguely south-of-the-border ode to the maid Consuelo; the swooning "Big John Shaft," concerning the lecherous Professor Scott; and the buzzing "Scooby Driver," a garage-pop nugget that builds on the sensational single "Legal Man," taking its cue from the Letterman-obsessed Scooby. Finally, the sweet, melancholy "Black and White Unite" recalls B&S's "Summer Wasting," as Jackson and Murdoch trade verses about the tyranny of the sunny season in Simon & Garfunkel-like fashion. In lesser hands, Storytelling might have been a scant 30 minutes of scraps, but Belle & Sebastian's deft touch allows the whole to ring with the beauty and clarity of an old church bell.
All Music Guide - Heather Phares
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 "Fuck This Shit" 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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/4/2002
  • Label: Matador Records
  • UPC: 744861051220
  • Catalog Number: 10512
  • Sales rank: 106,743

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Fiction
  2. 2 Freak
  3. 3 Dialogue: Conan, Early Letterman
  4. 4 Fuck This Shit
  5. 5 Night Walk
  6. 6 Dialogue: Jersey's Where It's At
  7. 7 Black and White Unite
  8. 8 Consuelo
  9. 9 Dialogue: Toby
  10. 10 Storytelling
  11. 11 Dialogue: Class Rank
  12. 12 I Don't Want to Play Football
  13. 13 Consuelo Leaving
  14. 14 Wandering Alone
  15. 15 Dialgoue: Mandingo Cliche
  16. 16 Scooby Driver
  17. 17 Fiction (Reprise)
  18. 18 Big John Shaft
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Belle and Sebastian Primary Artist
George Cuthbertson Viola
Jacqui Penfold Viola
Andrea Kuypers Flute
Dervilagh Cooper Violin
Cheryl Crockett Violin
Susan Dance Cello
Mary Ward Violin
Gary Grochla Double Bass
Alastair Savage Violin
Technical Credits
Geoff Allen Engineer
Robin Rankin Engineer
Belle and Sebastian Producer
Frank Arkwright Mastering
Tony Doogan Producer
Dave Paterson Engineer
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