belle & sebastian girls in peacetime want to dance album review
Three years after their 2010’s Write About Love, Belle & Sebastian are back with their 9th studio album Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance .
Produced by Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Cee-Lo, Bombay, Bicycle Club), Girls in Peacetime Want To Dance seems like a natural progression from their previous works while keeping their indie pop identity. The resulting album brings 80s synth pop elements delivering a tremendous spectrum of stylish electronic sounds while exploring the political, the personal, the relationships , with spirituality as a backdrop. It opens with the shining Nobody’s Empire, a piano upbeat ballad, featuring emotional and inspirational lyrics about Stuart Murdock‘s battle with ME.
Most of songs are built upon a starry wave of synths. It ’s sparse and heavy sometimes, often intriguing . They challenge themselves but somewhere, perhaps, it sounds fairly familiar but they made it fresh and it is nuanced, back to their roots with Ever had A little faith (written early). The Cat With The Cream is a sophisticated ballad filled with elegant strings. It reminds you of their 90s sound.
The songs are often catchy groovy. It has a more danceable approach. The whole album waves between funk (The Power of three), disco anthem (Enter Sylvia Plath), new wave (The Power of Three), calypso (Perfect Couple) among others. . It is diverse but flows together very well. The Everlasting Muse stands part. The tune takes you on another journey. It showcases the band at their groovy sense best, playing with change rhythms and tempo. It also has a vintage vibe in it. Today (This Army’s For Peace) marries dreamy effects and minimalism. The synth-pop Play For Today
features Dee Dee Penny of Dum Dum Girls.
All in all, Girls in Peacetime Want To Dance is a change in continuity. The album marks a slight evolution in their music, more intricate and eclectic than previously, perhaps the beginning of a new chapter in their story.