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THE BOY WITH THE ARAB STRAP

4.0 out of 5 stars 169 customer reviews

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MP3 Music, September 8, 1998
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Audio CD, January 22, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

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

Review

Arab Strap is a more mature album that 1997's If You're Feeling Sinister, less concerned with just-postadolescent torment, which is to say it's concerned with more mature torment. What comes out of all this self-restraint is a pastoral album whose minor accomplishments add up to tremendous power when heard as a whole. -- Spin

Redolent of the Velvet Underground's cutest moments, this stuff is almost closer to sense memory than to music ... this album's got brilliant Spector-sound sunsets. -- Rolling Stone

The quiet power of this nuanced, restrained pop foray derives from a sly contradiction: An exterior of breezy pop melodies, tidy arrangements and fragile vocals belies the darkness within. -- USA Today

There is a care and craftsmanship at work on The Boy with the Arab Strap, their third album, that leaves almost all their contemporaries for dead. Music which locates an emotional chord largely neglected by the British mainstream since the demise of The Smiths, but is presented with an air of aloofness and/or shyness more suitable to a tiny side project of The Pastels. -- New Musical Express

[Singer-songwriter Stuart] Murdoch can apparently make a witty yet heartfelt song out of anything that crosses his mind... -- Entertainment Weekly

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  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
  10. Chickfactor
  11. Simple Things
  12. The Rollercoaster Ride


Product details

  • Audio CD (January 22, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: September 8, 1998
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador Records
  • ASIN: B00000AFHM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 169 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,097 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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