The Renegade Rip

Belle and Sebastian’s new album features ’70s sound

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Elizabeth Castillo, Editor in Chief

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“Nobody’s Empire,” the first track of Belle and Sebastian’s latest album, “Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance” sets the tone for the entire record: thoughtful lyrics set to a disco rhythm. While Stuart Murdoch usually writes his songs from an unrelated character’s point of view, the first song is deeply autobiographical as Murdoch sings about how “life’s too much” and his struggle with chronic fatigue syndrome.

The next song heads back to a character’s point of view, the character in this album being Allie, whose story is told in one of the shortest songs on the album. While some of the tracks on this album extend well beyond five minutes, the album never feels tedious and doesn’t exhaust listeners. Some of the disco vibes on the album are a bit excessive. The album’s single, “The Party Line” is too ‘70s but is a valiant effort. The danceable beat featured throughout the album illustrates the band’s collaboration with Ben H. Allen, who also produced records for Cee Lo Green and Animal Collective.

The sleeper hit on this record is “Perfect Couples.” The song has amusing lyrics and a good blend of groovy vibes without being ridiculously over-powering. “The Everlasting Muse” at times feels misplaced on this album but is nonetheless a charming and enjoyable track. “Play for Today” features vocals from Dee Dee Penny of Dum Dum Girls and her vocals work well with Murdoch’s. “Enter Sylvia Plath” is the album’s most danceable track despite being titled after a writer known for her depression. The album’s final track, “Today (This Army’s for Peace),” drifts back to the dreamier days of the band and takes listeners to the more psychedelic side of the ‘70s.

Belle and Sebastian provide listeners with a hefty dose of disco in their latest album. While some songs don’t quite hit the groovy notes the band is after, others blend high-quality lyricism with a disco vibes that provide listeners with a refreshing take on pop.

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Belle and Sebastian’s new album features ’70s sound