Quick Review (LP): The Boy With The Arab Strap by Belle & Sebastian

Belle & Sebastian
The Boy With The Arab Strap
Jeepster; 1998

My Rating: A- (81/100)

Best Tracks: "It Could Have Been A Brilliant Career", "Sleep The Clock Around", "Ease Your Feet Into The Sea", "Chickfactor", "The Boy With The Arab Strap"

Excruciatingly pleasant rainy day book-core.


  • It’s If You’re Feeling Sinister‘s demure kid sister.
  • "Is It Wicked Not To Care?" is a pretty great moment. Gotta love the xylophone + guitar bridge.
  • I think of this record as 12 variations on The Beatles’ "I’m Only Sleeping."
  • This is one of the most "democratic" records since Music From Big Pink (Deja Vu?/Rumours?).
  • Drags a bit in the middle. "Seymour Stein", "A Spaceboy Dream", and "Dirty Dream Number Two" all have their place, but they aren’t particularly strong back-to-back.
  • And then it launches into "The Boy With The Arab Strap", which may be the defining B&S song (at least the 90’s B&S). Excellent.
  • Is that a recorder solo?
  • "Chickfactor" is a nice change of pace.
  • "The Simple Things" adds some vigor to the mix.
  • "Rollercoaster Ride" is really pleasant, a last little stroll through dreamworld before you have to wake up again to reality.
  • Overall, this one is a would-be classic, but it’s a bit under-grand. Good melodies abound, but it’s a bit sleep-inducing and, at times, formulaic. That being said, I’d rank this as perhaps their second or third best offering, and one of the best albums I can think of for an overcast and lazy Saturday morning.

Cohesion (5/5)
Consistency (4.5/5)
Concept (4.5/5)
Consequence (4/5)
Songs (4.5/5)

One Response to Quick Review (LP): The Boy With The Arab Strap by Belle & Sebastian

  1. Pingback: Career In Brief: Belle and Sebastian « Sweet Georgia Breezes

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