- Audio CD (June 4, 2002)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Soundtrack
- Label: Matador Records
- ASIN: B00005OM56
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,957 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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MP3 Music, June 4, 2002
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Special Low List Price: 34 minutes of new music from Belle and Sebastian, comprised of both instrumental film score and six new vocal tracks. The soundtrack to Todd Solondz's "Storytelling", starring Selma Blair, John Goodman and Paul Giamatti.
Given Belle & Sebastian's eccentric way of doing things, it's hardly surprising that their soundtrack to the Todd Solondz movie Storytelling did not work out quite as planned. Plenty of bands have written scores to imaginary movies. Belle & Sebastian, however, have composed an imaginary soundtrack to an existing movie; only six minutes of this music was actually used in the film, and much of it was completed after the film was released. The weird thing is, it all fits together rather nicely. Storytelling is a more consistent beast than the last couple of B&S albums; the discipline of writing (vaguely) to order seems to have made the band perversely less uptight. Stevie Jackson's ambling harmonica piece, "F*** This S***," is a close cousin to his beautiful work with the Bill Wells Trio--and also, explicitly, Dylan's soundtrack to Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid. Amidst the lilting instrumentals and snatches of dialogue from Solondz's fine movie is a clutch of quietly impressive songs. "Black and White Unite" continues Stuart Murdoch's artful reorganization of the legacies of Love and Simon & Garfunkel, while on "I Don't Want to Play Football" he chooses to stereotype himself further as the sickly child always picked last at games. Best of all, there's "Storytelling" itself, in which Sarah Martin pursues the issues of authorial responsibility tackled by Solondz in the movie. "In directions, actions, and words, cause and effect, you need consistency," she politely chastises, targeting Solondz as much as his characters. --John Mulvey
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the album is more cohesive than previous projects, obviously coming from their desire to do the score to the movie of the same name. clips of the movie are interspersed throughout the album, working with the lyrics and the music lovely-like.
from the haunting simple instrumental sound of "fiction" or freak," to the simon and garfunklesque sound of "black and white unite," the album tugs at you--from hopelessness to faith, from sadness to irridescant joy...it's simply a beautiful listen.
and the harmonica solo in "f--- this s---" (as if you need the faux modesty of dashes) was fantastic. it ranks as my favourite track on the disc.
all of this having been said, if you are a new b&s fan, perhaps this isn't the best first purchase--get "the boy with the arab strap," "if you're feeling sinister," or "fold your hands child..." before getting this one. but when you do get it, you will love it. the boys and girls have done well with this.
-john j. o'sullivan
"jersey's where america's at! YEAH!"
On the contrary, "Storytelling" has a permanent home in my portable CD player, and it has the special ability to appeal to my parents when I play it aloud at home. The instrumentals are luscious and demonstrate the truly powerful presence of Belle and Sebastian as a group - sometimes they number 20-odd people on-stage, rather than their stated size of 7-8 performers (now down one person, I'm afraid, with Isobel's departure from the group). B&S's music often works in an amazing orchestral form, so I was happy to see what the group members can do as instrumentalists.
The humorous bits of spoken word [which I assume came from the film] were effective and fun. My favorites: "Maybe they make fun of New Jersey all the time. But I don't care. They're just snobs. Cause New Jersey's where America's at!" And: "When I go to high school I'm not going to play any football. I'm just going to concentrate on class rank." These quotes are awesome, interesting, ironic: Pure belle and sebastian (on a USA-inspired buzz).
The vocal selections are excellent as well. "Storytelling" is a great testament to and criticism of Todd Solondz. "Black and White Unite," "Wandering alone," and "Big John Shaft" work wonderfully. "I don't want to play football" IS hilarious AND charming. Whatever other people may think is fine; I think that this album works. Each piece fits together really well; the pieces flow, and I keep repeating songs over and over so that I can continue my B&S fix.
Whether or not you're a Belle and Sebastian fan I highly recommend this album. If you're a first-time listener try If You're Feeling Sinister, but you don't have to like B&S to love this album. You just have to be open to a group diversifying its music and experimenting with melodic lines that they were never able to develop for the actual Storytelling film.
Most recent customer reviews
Light offering of c-sides from these popular boys and girls takes advantage of sketchbook soundtrack-isms a little too heavily to be very memorable.Read more