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Album Review: Belle & Sebastian - The Boy With The Arab Strap

Tuesday 20 February 2018


From Pitchfork:


Belle & Sebastian - The Boy With The Arab Strap

Belle and Sebastian - The Boy With the Arab Strap

The Scottish band’s excellent third album features some of their darkest and most detailed songs. Wholly beautiful and delicate, it was Stuart Murdoch’s first reluctant step into the spotlight.

By Scott Plagenhoef
18 February 2018
© 2018 Pitchfork

Stuart Murdoch spent the heart of his 20s suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, engaging his intellect with music, film, and literature while daydreaming about being in a band. Indoors and alone for seven years from the end of the ’80s into the early ’90s in his native Scotland, he found comfort in piano and guitar and began to shape delicate character studies and cultural references into song. By the time he recovered enough to re-engage with the world, he had amassed a cache of evocative songs, often set in childhood or schoolyard settings where he was found absent. This is Belle and Sebastian’s second-most-well-known origin story, but it’s the key to understanding why one of the most gifted songwriters of his generation decided that he wanted to be an ensemble player rather than a star.


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