|1. Step Into My Office, Baby|
|2. Dear Catastrophe Waitress|
|3. If She Wants Me|
|4. Piazza, New York Catcher|
|5. Asleep On A Sunbeam|
|6. I'm A Cuckoo|
|7. You Don't Send Me|
|8. Wrapped Up In Books|
|9. Lord Anthony|
|10. If You Find Yourself Caught In Love|
|11. Roy Walker|
|12. Stay Loose|
The presence of Trevor Horn (the man behind Tatu and Frankie Goes to Hollywood) as producer suggested that a stylistic leap was imminent. But would it be at the cost of the group's unique charm? Thankfully not. Chief songwriter Stuart Murdoch has clearly been listening to a lot of Randy Newman and Joe Jackson, along with a touch of Thin Lizzy, and Horn manages to meld these new influences with the trademark B&S sound. "Step into My Office Baby" is orchestral pop with a cheeky, almost raucous bent. "If She Wants Me" pulls off a flirtation with Orange Juice-style funk, while "Stay Loose" could be Squeeze covering "Space Oddity". On the more traditional B&S songs (the title track, "Wrapped Up in Books", live favourite "Lord Anthony"), the ante is upped simply by the quality of songwriting, which is a match for anything from the Tigermilk glory days.
For a band whose best work seemed long behind them, Dear Catastrophe Waitress is just what was ordered. Not simply a return to form, but a bright new future. --Ian Watson
Dear Catastrophe Waitress is a different story. Later on in High Fidelity, Rob says with confidence, "I will now sell five copies of The 3 EPs by The Beta Band." He cues up the chorus of Dry the Rain, and everyone in the store starts bouncing. Someone asks him within seconds who it is. That's how my friends are responding to Dear Catastrophe Waitress. Belle & Sebastian have turned a corner with a little help from Trevor Horn. This album appeals not to a different crowd, but to a much larger, more inclusive one.
Arab Strap and Sinister reside in my "Top fifty albums I can't play for people" list.
Dear Catastrophe Waitress is in my Top fifty albums, Period.
1. The lyrics are corny. Read more