There are several schools of thought about Syd Barrett, the early leader of Pink Floyd. Some think he was a genius songwriter, even when he was utterly whacked out. Others think he was just a druggie tosspot (those people are wrong). If you subscribe to the former school, you need to hear Belle and Sebastian, who seem to inhabit a musical universe close to Syd's. Songs seem to fly off the cuff, as attractive as a summer day when you were 16. We're not talking self-conscious strangeness here, but just natural, organic weirdness with melodies that make these songs work. --Chris Nickson
Whimsy and preciousness is an integral part of 'If You're Feeling Sinister', along with clever wit and gentle, intricate arrangements - a wonderful blend of the Smiths and Simon & Garfunkel, to be reductive.