The Boy with the Arab Strap

The Boy with the Arab Strap

by Belle and Sebastian


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Product Details

Release Date: 09/08/1998
Label: Matador Records
UPC: 0744861031123
catalogNumber: 10311
Rank: 13869

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The Boy with the Arab Strap 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are reading this you are probably already familiar with the music of the fabulous Belle and Sebastian. If not, then this album could be a turning point in your life. Belle and Sebastian write gorgeous folk-pop songs in the vein of Nick Drake, the Smiths and Love. The lyrics are filled with humor, wit, poetry and universal feelings of sadness, alienation and love. The opener, "It Could have Been a Brilliant Career," is a quiet song of regret over missed opportunities. Singer Stuart Murdoch's morose vocals are backed by spare piano, slide guitar and conga drum accompaniment. The next song is one of the best on the album and in the entire Belle and Sebastian catalog. "Sleep the Clock Around" discusses not fitting in with the 'cool' crowd and ends in a cacophony of squiggly synthesizers, bagpipes, trumpets and organs. Cellist (yes, I said cellist) Isobel Campbell makes her vocal debut on a Belle and Sebastian album in the next song, "Is it Wicked Not To Care?" This song contains a rather obvious reference to the late Nick Drake: the line "Would love me 'til I'm dead" also appears in his song "Northern Sky." Track four, "Ease Your Feet in the Sea", uses acoustic guitars, violin, glockenspiel and a lovely melody to veil its true subject: suicide. The album then progresses on into paens to record company execs and the New York indie scene, (Seymour Stein and Chickfactor, respectively), fully orchestrated odes to teenage wet dreams, (Dirty Dream Number 2) and even spoken-word experiments, (A Space Boy Dream.) But the best song on "The Boy With the Arab Strap" is, in my opinion, the autumnal title track. It is an ode to fellow Glasgow, Scotland natives and all the eccentricies and absurdities of life in modern day Britain. With its labyrinthine lyrics and rhythmic build-up of electric piano, organ and flute, it is one of the most compelling songs in the band's repetoire. While it is true that you would hear any of these tunes on the radio or on MTV, that doesn't matter to the members of Belle and Sebastian one bit. To quote their song "Get Me Away from Here, I'm Dying", off of their second album, "You could either be successful or be us." I'd take the second choice any day.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Escape the reality that you are a worker bee by popping this in. Suddenly it's a sunny Saturday and you are flipping through old issues of the New Yorker while your coffee brews in your french press. Nothing short of bliss.
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