From: Write About Love
Released: October 12, 2010
Label: Rough Trade/Matador
Buy it: Here.
I suppose it’s kind of funny that while I like Write About Love, I don’t think it holds together as cohesively as their previous effort, 2006’s The Life Pursuit. This year’s model is a fine album, to be sure, but the thing is it blows its best minute right from the get-go, with the soaring opener, “I Didn’t See it Coming.” Belle & Sebastian albums — particularly those since the move to Rough Trade/Matador — seem to have been increasingly dominated by Stuart Murdoch material, so to see Murdoch defer the album opener to Sarah Martin is a bit of a curveball, but one that pays off in dividends. The best thing about the song is that it sinks its claws deeper and deeper into you as it goes, and when the fade-out finally occurs at the 5-minute mark, you’re still wanting more. The song’s lyrical hook — “Make me dance, I want to surrender” is a sweet request when Martin sings it in the verses, but it’s one of the most impassioned pleas for love when Murdoch repeats it again and again in the outro. And it’s for that outro that this song gets #1 recognition this year — the first time I heard it, a huge smile broke out on my face and I realized it was the best thing I’d heard all year. Anyone who’s ever had a hint of romanticism in their lives should be able to identify … even those who can’t dance particularly well.
As per tradition, here’s the video for the #1 song, although I don’t know that it’s a video proper inasmuch as a mimed performance from a net special done to promote Write About Love. Still conveys the slow-bubbling energy magnificently.