UK indie pop group Belle and Sebastian’s latest album “Write About Love” is, unsurprisingly, a lighthearted pop album. Their well-composed songs run the gamut from slow ballads to dance-worthy numbers.
Like any good pop album, “Write About Love” is brimming with catchy melodies and upbeat hooks. It’s refreshing to hear such simple and catchy pop music. Most of the album is great, but some of the slower songs clash awkwardly with the generally upbeat mood of the majority of the album. However, these songs are good in their own right.
The beauty of “Write About Love” is that the songs are undeniably catchy and you don’t feel like you’re listening to meaningless, soulless music, which is all too common nowadays. The raw simplicity of the arrangements harks back to the blissful days of 60s pop and gives the music its genuine feel. You can get your fill of playful, catchy love songs while listening to carefully arranged music.
I’ve never owned a Belle and Sebastian album before but, from what I’ve gathered, their latest venture isn’t too much of a departure from their previous work. Even if it is a little different, it definitely fits right into the indie pop genre to which the band belongs.
Out of the 11 songs on the album, only three or four are slower paced, and those are the lower points of the album. This is because the songs’ slower pace contrasts with the rest of the album; there’s nothing really wrong with the songs themselves.
“Calculating Bimbo” is the first slow track on the album. The song has an extremely laid-back vibe and, once you adjust to it (or if you’re in the mood already), you’ll be able to appreciate its delicate atmosphere.
While “Calculating Bimbo” and “Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John” show off musical variety, where the album really seems to shine is in the upbeat tracks. Every one of them has a catchy melody and great beat, and they’re all fantastically executed. It definitely helps that they don’t sound repetitive or overdone.
The album opens with a light pop track, “I Didn’t See it Coming.” After the drumbeat intro, piano chords let you know you’re listening to pop. The song builds into a synth (which are found throughout the album) section and keeps building until the end.
What also can be found in “I Didn’t See it Coming,” as well as the rest of the album, is the great harmony and vocal tone from the male and female singers in the group. This creates a great sound and is very characteristic of the indie genre.
“I Want the World to Stop” is a fast-tempo track that also manages to carry a very chill vibe. In addition to having another great tune, Belle and Sebastian show off another appealing aspect of their songs. From the combination of the male-female vocals to the tone of the guitar, the song manages to translate a strong sense of delicacy and finesse. It sets their music apart, keeping it from being a typical pop album.
The title track is another skillfully crafted dance-worthy pop song. It has the delicacy and catchiness as expected but the group also uses some extra instruments to great effect. The song bursts into an exciting electric organ solo in the middle, throwing in a well-used 60s pop reference. The song also has some tasteful strings to help the melody along.
The album goes through a few more upbeat tracks, a slower song and an even an acoustic one before coming to an end.
“Write About Love” is a beautifully constructed and polished album. I can’t relate it to the band’s other work, but it stands alone as an excellent example of an indie pop album. The extra layer of depth in the music is immediately noticeable and keeps you listening to some properly made pop music. It’s just a shame that 60s influenced modern-day pop has essentially been relegated to the indie universe.
But, then again, maybe it’s not such a bad thing.