Boy With The Arab Strap
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Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. It Could Have Been A Brilliant Career|
|2. Sleep The Clock Around|
|3. Is It Wicked Not To Care?|
|4. Ease Your Feet In The Sea|
|5. A Summer Wasting|
|6. Seymour Stein|
|7. A Space Boy Dream|
|8. Dirty Dream Number Two|
|9. The Boy With The Arab Strap|
|11. Simple Things|
|12. The Rollercoaster Ride|
This highly anticipated album from Belle and Sebastian arrives with every hope satisfied. Each song is a cunning short story that wraps itself around you like a cosy couch throw. The loose theme running through this 12-song reverie is seduction. It plays out in both the drowsy sexual hopes of principal songwriter Stuart Murdoch's idle protagonists and the giddiness of bandmate Stevie Jackson's "Seymour Stein" and "Chickfactor", which document his bewitchment by the city of New York, its beautiful girls and florid pitchmen. The complex arrangements favour a whimsical diversity best experienced in "Sleep the Clock Around", which features synthesiser bloops, trumpets and bagpipes! If you haven't figured out that this Scottish eight-piece deserves every iota of hype it's receiving, it's time to have your ears checked and your record collection gone over by a certified professional. --Lois Maffeo
This highly anticipated album from Belle and Sebastian arrives with every hope satisfied. Each song is a cunning short story that wraps itself around you like a cozy couch throw. The loose theme running through this 12-song reverie is seduction. It plays out in both the drowsy sexual hopes of principal songwriter Stuart Murdoch's idle protagonists and the giddiness of bandmate Stevie Jackson's "Seymour Stein" and "Chickfactor," which document his bewitchment by the city of New York and its beautiful girls and florid pitchmen. The complex arrangements favor a whimsical diversity best experienced in "Sleep the Clock Around," which features synthesizer bloops, trumpets, and bagpipes! If you haven't figured out that this Scottish eight-piece deserves every iota of hype it's receiving, it's time to have your ears checked and your record collection gone over by a certified professional. --Lois Maffeo
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Top Customer Reviews
"It's good - but it's not right".
P.S. The titular Arab Strap is a marital aid that constrictively enhances staying power. I don't believe it's available through amazon.com...
"Arab Strap" starts off with "It Could Have Been a Brilliant Career," an elusive, quirky little tune that builds up from near silence. Following it up is the almost-catchy, percussive "Sleep the Clock Around," the darkly beautiful title track, the wistful "Summer Wasting," the lulling "Seymour Stein" with its magnificently shivery organ, and finally it finishes up with the pretty, downbeat "Rollercoaster Ride."
Nobody makes the sad stuff any prettier than Belle & Sebastian. "Boy With the Arab Strap" is not quite perfect -- "Seymour Stein," despite its lyrical brilliance, has a forgettable little tune, and the lyrics vary wildly. But their work here is certainly enjoyable and beautiful, balancing out the sweetness, the humor, the melancholy, and the coffee-shop-poet dissatisfaction with life.
The songs brim over with vague unhappiness, an ethereal sense of how the world is full of misery. It's best shown in "Boy With the Arab Strap": Stuart Murdoch sings with deceptive perkiness, "Do you ever feel you have gone too far?/Everyone suffers in silence a burden..." Murdoch let the others do several of the songs for this album, which gives a vague, weird feeling of creative unevenness.
Stuart Murdoch does most of the vocals, and his murmuring voice seems perfectly suited to the songs.Read more ›
Like Rush's Geddy Lee, Stuart Murdoch's vocals take a few listens to get used to, and like Lee and Rush, many people will never give B&S a chance in spite of Murdoch's voice. It's a shame, since they're missing out on a great band that doesn't get enough credit.
The Boy with the Arab Strap is good, but not perfect. There are a few songs that are very forgettable and lyrically convoluted. Seymour Stein has a catchy hook, but feels like every other pop ballad released in the 60's and 70's. In A Space Boy Dream, Murdoch literally speaks a story, with a fast-paced postlude of jazzy music at the end that really has no listener value to non die-hard fans.
That being said, there are indeed some incredible tunes on this CD. It Could Have Been a Brilliant Career, A Summer Wasting, and Simple Things stand out quite well. But the highlight of the album is Dirty Dream Number Two. Think of The Doors Touch Me combined with Tom Jones' It's Not Unusual and you have Dirty Dream Number Two. It's an example of Belle & Sebastian at their finest.
The Boy with the Arab Strap has found a place on the small pile of CD's atop my CD player, ready to be inserted at any time. When I need a quick pick-me-up or a stress-reliever, it's the first album I play, though never from cover to cover.
Most recent customer reviews
Excellent album. Nice, gatefold LP in promotional clear vinyl case.Published 2 months ago by Jessica McMillan
When I sit at home on a lazy summer day (bored as usual) there's a certain album that I can just lie in bed and let it take me away into another world. This album is it. Read morePublished on July 4 2004 by Shaggy
I have not been this happy with an album purchase in a long time. I first heard the song "Boy With the Arab Strap" about a month ago. Read morePublished on March 12 2004
This is a superior album. Isobel's singing on "Is It Wicked To Care?" is really good, very simplistic and meaningful ("rusting armor for effect..."). Read morePublished on March 4 2004
Belle & Sebastian's follow-up to 'If You're Feeling Sinister' is a bit of a letdown. Although every song is beautifully recorded, they are surprisingly dull. Read morePublished on Jan. 9 2004 by SPM
I love If You're Feeling Sinister more than words can explain, but I think The Boy With The Arab Strap might have it beat, in my book anyway. Read morePublished on Dec 1 2003 by Paul H.
I can't count how many times I have listened to "If you're feeling sinister". If you are a Belle and Sebastian fan, you know that most of their songs are written and sung... Read morePublished on Nov. 27 2003
Has anyone actually looked up the word 'fey' in the dictionary? It means doomed, marked by a forboding of death or calamity, visionary. Read morePublished on Nov. 14 2003 by F. Beal
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