FOLD YOUR HANDS CHILD YOU WALK LIKE A PEASANT
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The eclectic feel of the record owes itself to the fact that this is, by far, Belle & Sebastian's most "record by committee" affair yet, with songwriting contributions from several different band members and songs that seem to have been built up from simple ideas into lush orchestral pieces with the musical input of the band's many different instrumentalists. While Stuart Murdoch still writes and sings the bulk of the material, he collaborates with bandmates on a number of songs, including the delicately soulful "Don't Leave the Light on Baby," written with keyboardist Chris Geddes. Unfortunately, songs by Belle & Sebastian cofounder and bassist Stuart David are not to be found on Fold Your Hands (he left the band during the recording). However, violinist Sarah Martin contributes her first song with the haunting "Waiting for the Moon to Rise," while cellist Isobel Campbell adds the record's most surprising track, "Beyond the Sunrise," sounding like a lost Leonard Cohen gem with its spare and fragile arrangement. Guitarist Stevie Jackson, who contributed some of the better songs on Arab Strap, manages only one on this outing, but it's one of the best: "The Wrong Girl," a tale of misplaced love juxtaposed against swinging Spector- like strings and horns. By the time the band reaches "Women's Realm," an infectious, life-affirming romp, the record's message, although never spelled out, is clear: Through all the melancholy and solitude and terrible things that could go wrong, life is still worth fighting for. --Paul Ducey
Top Customer Reviews
Comparisons will inevitably be made with the album's predecessor, The Boy With the Arab Strap. One of those songs in particular points to the new direction, `Dirty Dream Number 2', the exquisite soul pastiche. Sarah Martin's violin works similar wonders here on `The Model', `Don't Leave the Light On Baby', `Women's Realm' and `There's Too Much Love', the sweetest string sounds imaginable, soaring and diving, wringing every nuance of heartbreak from the accompanying lyric. The same soulful vivacity infuses the rest of the album - call it, then, `Dirty Dream Numbers 3 to 13'.
`I Fought In a War' begins like an ancient folk hymn, then carries its elegiac tone into a contemporary pop setting. The harpsichord, another new feature, seems custom-built for the B&S musical blueprint. It adds extra fervour to `Waiting for the Moon to Rise' and propels `The Model', the latter a classic Stuart Murdoch tale of emotional confusion, using painting as a metaphor for a dysfunctional relationship. In stark contrast is the concentrated, hesitant `Beyond the Sunrise', which demonstrates how impeccably arranged the sound has become.Read more ›
What certainly is a tough argument to make may be the most unnecessary. If there's anything that this band is truly good at is being consistent with their sound and their apparent motive for making music. The often-called "twee kids" and their baroque chamber-pop style has virtually been defined by B&S and you can hear it in its glory throughout their discography. They've been paving a new road with excellent LPs and EPs for us loyal fans to enjoy for years ahead. "Unique" is an understatement.
With that said, "Fold Your Hands, Child, You Walk Like a Peasant" only enforces the idea that when Belle and Sebastian are "in the zone," they don't let up. The wide variety found on this particular album (yet still maintaining the light, 60's-ish sound) is irresistible. "The Wrong Girl," for example, may be the most infectious B&S single to date. (Including the single-ridden "Dear Catastrophe Waitress" album!) Tracks like "The Chalet Lines" and "The Model" are classic B&S, yet sound fresh and new like an album truly should.
Though B&S have definitely carved a niche into popular music with their intelligent, yet vibrant and playful, sound, they continue to break ahead into all the nooks and crannies of their style to give us something wonderful to fall in love with...with each and every album. "Fold Your Hands..." is simply another strong (I say strongest!) example of how one band's initiative is too pure and precise to be broken.
They have a retro pop rock style mixed with lyrics that have a dark and modern atmosphere. "The Model", "The Chalet Lines", "Nice Day For A Sulk", and "Family Tree" are good examples of modern poems.
Most of the songs are sad specially "The Chalet Lines" and "I Fought In A War". It's amazing how sad rock music can be. The female voice is highly beautiful. The band have great musicians and composers. All the pianos, violins, guitars, and other instruments played on this album are perfect. After listening previous albums of B&S I consider this one the most elaborated.
I think it's a great CD to listen during winter time. It would be a perfect christmas present for anyone who loves sad music and rock and roll oldies.
Months ago I found out that the girls on the cover are members of a band called "Mum" from Iceland. They don't sound like B&S at all. They make electronic and experimental music that I highly recomend. As a matter of fact some members of B&S have a project called "Looper" which is similar to "Mum". Very interesting.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I don't know how I hadn;t heard of this band before. Heard them in a movie soundtrack. They are great!Published 10 months ago by M. Mcginnm
Probably my least favorite album of theirs that I've purchased... but hey, it's still B&S, so, you know, it's pretty good : )Published 18 months ago by Jonathan D. White
I've been exploring the output of Scottish pop group Belle and Sebastian chronologically, and their first three albums have held steady and downright obsessive rotation in my... Read morePublished on February 8, 2012 by Christopher Culver
after my first copy got stolen out of my car. some of the songs are a bit hokey, but the ones that kick a** (nice day for a sulk is grand) make up for it. worth owning. Read morePublished on March 20, 2010 by Trudi F. Skea
Lacking a typical assuredness, especially after following one of their best works, FYH works only as a partially impressive transition disc with a large amount of automatic filler... Read morePublished on March 30, 2009 by IRate
This album has some really great B&S songs, most notably: I Fought in a War, The Model, and The Chalet Lines. The rest are OK. Read morePublished on March 3, 2008 by Good Morning America
Now, everybody and their grandmother (well, assuming their grandmother listens to Belle & Sebastian) knows that this is pretty much Stuart Murdoch's band. Read morePublished on July 5, 2007 by Tom Emanuel
This album is as close to perfection as any, particularly for a concept album. the low ratings accorded it by the major reviewers in completely inexplicable, and as of yet, the... Read morePublished on October 9, 2006 by Perry
Beautiful horn-work along with Murdoch's wonderous voice make this belle and sebastian album a masterpiece. Read morePublished on July 23, 2006 by jugoslavija111
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