Quick Review (LP): Dear Catastrophe Waitress by Belle & Sebastian

Belle and Sebastian
Dear Catastrophe Waitress
Jeepster; 2003

My Rating: A+ (100/100)

Best Tracks: "Step Into My Office, Baby", "If She Wants Me", "Piazza, New York Catcher", "I’m A Cuckoo", "You Don’t Send Me", "Stay Loose"

If this doesn’t put a smile on your face, then you don’t have a soul.

NOTES

  • This album breathed new life into the idea of Belle and Sebastian. It’s a creative breakthrough on the level of Kid A, The Unforgettable Fire, or Sgt. Pepper’s.
  • "Step Into My Office, Baby" is perhaps the most hilariously overdone string of sexual innuendos I’ve ever heard. It’s like one long "that’s what she said" joke, only with Stuart Murdoch’s trademark lyrical wit behind it.
  • I love the R&B flourishes of "If She Wants Me." "If I could do just one imperfect thing I’d be happy…"
  • "Piazza, New York Catcher" seems ready-made for mixes.
  • What does "Asleep On A Sunbeam" remind me of? Or is it just a really gorgeous tune?
  • "I’m A Cuckoo" is so amazing. Who would have thought that Belle and Sebastian could pull of the Thin Lizzy sound? Makes me wanna hear a "Jailbreak" cover.
  • Good grief, "You Don’t Send Me" is so catchy it makes me want to vomit (in a good way).
  • "Lord Anthony" sounds like a well-produced track from the B&S of the last century.
  • Again, "If You Find Yourself Caught In Love" is ridiculously catchy.
  • I don’t know if anyone can weave religious symbolism into pop music the way Stuart Murdoch does. It’s the reverence that makes it amazing.
  • I love the title track. Again, it’s just so funny and catchy at the same time.
  • They did a wise thing in embracing lite soul and power pop. The sound of this record just works.
  • Pitchfork: “If, however, "Legal Man" is among your favorite Belle & Sebastian songs, buy this immediately.” I’m not a fan of that tune.
  • Essentially, this is Belle and Sebastian 2.0. A different band, but the same one for all intents and purposes. With all of its employing of studio trickery, there could be much made of the subtext here, that of a bunch of kids refusing to grow up even when faced with the realities of the adult world. It’s laced with not-so-subtle innuendo, parodies, inside jokes, ironies, etc, but it’s all B&S all the time.
  • I think I’m surprised at this point to find that this is a classic (and perfect) album. Wow!

ATTRIBUTES
Cohesion (5/5)
Concept (5/5)
Consequence (5/5)
Consistency (5/5)
Songs (5/5)

Quick Review (LP): Angles by The Strokes

The Strokes
Angles
RCA; 2011


My Rating: B (77/100)

Best Tracks: "Machu Picchu", "Under Cover of Darkness", "Two Kinds of Happiness", "Call Me Back", "Gratisfaction"


Apparently, no one likes this album. I guess it takes someone who didn’t believe the hype in the first place to say this, but I dig it quite a bit, thank you.

NOTES
– Love the sound of "Machu Picchu."
– "Under Cover of Darkness" sounds like classic Strokes.
– Nice 80’s sound on "Two Kinds of Happiness." Sounds sort of like golden age Tom Petty.
– "Girl from Impanema" salute on "Call Me Back."
– I dig the sort of goofy evil robot feel of "Metabolism.” Were they aiming to make a contribution to the Tron: Legacy soundtrack?
– What does that cover remind me of, other than Q-Bert?
– "Gratisfaction" sounds like Thin Lizzy.
– My take is that the band is posturing for a Weezer-like second decade. I don’t think they really care at this point about being countercultural heroes so much as continuing to churn out hyper-catchy indie rock. Fair enough.
– This is a band that comes with a lot of baggage for most who care, but I’ve never been one to see them as a sort of second coming for rock and roll. I think that allows me to appreciate this record on its own as a catchy little slice of clubby rock and roll fun. Sort of like a good Huey Lewis record, radio-ready and bound to put a smile on your face, even though it may well be the most vapid and empty thing released this year. Tastes great, less filling. You can have it both ways.


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