|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|
Belle and Sebastian’s Dear Catastrophe Waitress, produced by Trevor Horn (Yes, Frankie Goes To Hollywood), marks the return of lead vocalist Stuart Murdoch as the group’s principal songwriter after the collaborative efforts on Storytelling and Fold Your Hands Child.
Producer Horn gave the album a more polished, pop-friendly sound which stood in sharp contrast to the more low-fi, folk-oriented sound of previous releases, although songs like "Lord Anthony" harkened back to the sound of earlier efforts.
“Murdoch’s gift for loopy, tender, unshakeable hymns, stomps and meditations is untouchable.” - Blender
“Dear Catastrophe Waitress is Belle & Sebastian’s first spotlessly perfect record.” - FFWD(Calgary)
<li>Step into My Office, Baby</li><li>Dear Catastrophe Waitress</li><li>If She Wants Me</li><li>Piazza, New York Catcher</li><li>Asleep on a Sunbeam</li><li>I'm a Cuckoo</li><li>You Don't Send Me</li><li>Wrapped Up in Books</li><li>Lord Anthony</li><li>If You Find Yourself Caught in</li><li>Love</li><li>Roy Walker</li><li>Stay Loose</li>
Dear Catastrophe Waitress was a make or break album for Belle & Sebastian. Having lost two founder members (Stuart David to Looper and Isobel Campbell to the Gentle Waves) and produced a couple of endearing but not hugely exciting albums (their soundtrack to Todd Solondz's Storytelling film and their own Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant), the pressure was on for the Scottish indie-pop six-piece to provide a startling return to form.
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
Belle and Sebastian, yes, the large band from overseas that have brought us tons of great depressing songs, have created the perfect pop album. Read morePublished on July 17 2004
Reading some of the negative reviews of this album, I get the feeling that B&S are probably the band with the most critical fans ever... Read morePublished on July 4 2004
This was the first B&S album that I ever bought, based on reccommandations from some indie-rock/pop friends, a purchase I don't regret for an instant. Read morePublished on June 30 2004 by Guy
I'd kinda stopped listening to Belle & Sebastian's output after "If You're Feeling Sinister" - so I wasn't sure what to expect here. Read morePublished on June 8 2004 by aloverofgreysilentdays
Excellent album, highlighted by the singles, and the strongest track, 'If She Wants Me'. Being my first Belle and Sebastian experience I was pleasantly surprised and after... Read morePublished on June 7 2004 by Ziggy
This CD is like when you wear plaid with stripes. It is a mixed up-don't know what I wanna be sorta problem. The band sounds great but it is too much of this and that. Read morePublished on May 30 2004
This CD was recommended to me from Amazon so I thought I would check it out. I thought Belle & Sebastian was sort of dull in the past. I got a few of the records previously. Read morePublished on April 24 2004 by alexander laurence
I gave this album 2 stars because it's the worst B&S album to date. Here's why:
1. The lyrics are corny. Read more
...because this album is a strong indicator that Belle & Sebastian will soon find their footing and release another great album. Read morePublished on April 8 2004 by Brooke Pennington