Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Belle and Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress (2003)

While I had heard of Belle & Sebastian, I was never particularly moved to purchase any of their music. This could be due to the following interaction between workers at a record store from the 2000 movie High Fidelity:

Barry: Holy shite. What the fuck is that?
Dick: It's the new Belle and Sebastian...
Rob: It's a record we've been listening to and enjoying, Barry.
Barry: Well, that's unfortunate, because it sucks ass.

In any case, when I found out that Trevor Horn, one of my favorite producers, was working with the band on this album, I figured I'd give them a shot. It's decent pop, but a little too folky and precious for my tastes. Also, the chord changes are fairly predictable, which makes for uninteresting music. If 10,000 Maniacs and Everything But The Girl had a baby with Up With People and that offspring had recorded a CD in 2003, it might have sounded something like this. It's easy to listen to and the production is fantastic, but it's enough B&S for me; it's the only CD by the group I own. It doesn't suck ass, Barry, but I don't listen to this CD much.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #84 (Oct 25, 2003)

Tracks: Step Into My Office Baby, If She Wants Me, and Roy Walker are worth listening to. I avoid You Don't Send Me, Wrapped Up In Books, and Lord Anthony, I really wanted to Piazza New York Catcher to be awesome with clever lyrics, but it falls way short with minor key guitar and bad lyrics. Stay Loose is an interesting new wave-ish track that is very out of place here. I'd like to call the rest bubblegum filler, but bubblegum has a little too much mass for that metaphor to work. Maybe cotton candy filler would be more apt.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: By the time I got to grad school in 2004, I had pretty much given up on listening to new music. But that's where I met my friend Blake and he was listening to new music and talking to me about it, so I figured I'd better step up and start listening to new stuff, too. That led to the purchase of several CDs that I wouldn't normally have purchased; some good, some not so much. This is one of those CDs. There was probably a better way to spend my student loan money, but I can't think of it right now.

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