In all honesty – how on Earth. After doing fuck-all for over a good decade, Belle & Sebastian suddenly release their best album since If You’re Feeling Sinister. Fuck that. This is even better than If You’re Feeling Sinister.
This time they chose grey for the cover, and it couldn’t be more misleading. Girls is a colourful record, patchy in a good way. It has a punch, it has 16 songs (if you consider the bonus tracks, and you should, if only for “Born To Act”) and you can dance to it. How on Earth.
“Nobody’s Empire” is a great opener, “Allie” is all charm, “The Party Line” is terrific twee-funk (??), but it might actually be a song like “Ever Had A Little Faith?” that proves Stuart Murdoch can still write a timeless melody. Listen to that opening verse, and it’s spring again. In fact, it is spring.