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flag Scotland - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 14 - 12/14/97

Belle & Sebastian
3.. 6.. 9 Seconds Of Light
Jeepster Recordings

Just a single single this time: the third one this year from Belle & Sebastian - probably the kindest group of people in Glasgow. The question now is: are they able to match the songs from their 2 previous releases of 1997? Let's find out.

Yes, this is great! A 7-inch single (also available on CD, with some more tracks) with a separate title! Way kool. The track on side 1, A Century Of Fakers, is a quiet beauty, sort of a universal pop-song. With lyrics from the sad-side, but with a humorous twist. Very cunning. It's a bit serious, but not to be taken too seriously. The ironic coolness in their lyrics is pleasant.

There are people going hungry every day
They've got nothing on their plates
An you're filling your fat face with every different kind of cake
And if you ever go lardy, or go lame
I will drop you straight away
That's the price you have to pay
For every stupid thing you say

It's a very clean song, maybe a bit too kind-sounding. Nevertheless, it's beautiful. And with a certain relevance, too, as we're heading towards year 2000. You can't go wrong with the lines:
Everybody's trying to make us
Another cool decade of fakers
Another century of fakers

The flipside contains the song Le Pastie De La Bourgeoisie, which is totally different from Fakers. It's sounding a little cowboy-ish, with twangy guitars, reminding me a bit of what The Monochrome Set (where are they now?) sounded like back in the 80's. Yet again the lyrics are brilliant, about not being like the "perfect" people. Like carrying the intellectual ballast, but being in lack of looks. And also to float away on dreams, away from reality. It's about the teen-angst in life.

You're too tall, much too tall for a boyfriend
They run and hide, from your buckteeth and split ends
Don't be scared, like the books you've read
You're the heroine, You'll be doing fine

The song is quite literary, with a number of references: Judy Blume, Jack Kerouac, Catcher In The Rye. I find namedropping like this quite smart and stylish, but it's close to the border of kitchy-ness.

Oh yes, Belle & Sebastian have made it. This is their "single of the year", the better one of three excellent releases this year. I'm waiting with excitement to hear their upcoming album, due to be released a couple of months into 1998.

Copyright © 1997 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Belle & Sebastian articles/reviews: Belle and Sebastian Write About Love, Dear Catastrophe Waitress, Dog on Wheels, Girls In Peacetime Want to Dance, Greek Theatre, UC Berkeley, CA, 22.08.2003, Lazy Line Painter Jane, The Life Pursuit, The Third Eye Centre, Warfield Theater, San Francisco, USA, 9.9.01.

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