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Late Developers by Belle and Sebastian

Belle and Sebastian

Late Developers

Release Date: Jan 13, 2023

Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Pop, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Chamber Pop, Twee Pop

Record label: Matador


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Album Review: Late Developers by Belle and Sebastian

Very Good, Based on 5 Critics

Sputnikmusic - 82
Based on rating 4.1/5

(expectations) I think a misconception about the late-period works of Belle and Sebastian has been gradually perpetrated by listeners, critics, even yours truly. After their incredible early period of lo-fi, character-driven indie folk, we say, the band slid into an amenable but safe sophisti-pop sound characterised by cleaner production, longer runtimes and a general feeling of stagnation. Seems fair at a glance, perhaps, but there's a lot you have to overlook to subscribe to this simplistic notion.

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musicOMH.com - 80
Based on rating 4

As a surprise shot in the arm to get the year off to a good start, Stuart Murdoch and co’s second album in 12 months is a very welcome New Year present As January is traditionally the most depressing of months – the post-Christmas buzz has worn off, nobody has any money and the back to work grind is in full effect – the odd surprise is very welcome. And they don’t come much more surprising than a second Belle and Sebastian album in less than 12 months. Last May, Stuart Murdoch’s band released their 11th studio album, A Bit Of Previous, recorded throughout lockdown in their home city of Glasgow.

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Under The Radar - 80
Based on rating 8/10

Belle and Sebastian are full of surprises, aren't they? Surprise number one is that their twelfth album, Late Developers, comes only around seven months since the release of 2022's A Bit of Previous. Surprise number two, is that the opening track, "Juliet Naked," is very nearly a mid-tempo hard rock tune. The Thin Lizzy name-check in 2003's "I'm a Cuckoo" might have set an alarm bell or two ringing, but "Juliet Naked" and the second tune on the record "Give a Little Time" are pretty rockin' for Scotland's foremost purveyors of whimsy.

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No Ripcord - 50
Based on rating 5/10

When was the last time a surprise album felt like a surprise? For an act like Belle and Sebastian, the group behind perfect '90s indie-pop records like If You're Feeling Sinister, there isn't a huge risk in dropping their latest album, Late Developers, with a week's notice. In the last decade or so, the Scottish band are firmly in their twilight years, releasing decent albums with low stakes and a handful of surprises. On Late Developers, bandleader Stuart Murdoch's engaging storytelling and familiar voice gives a needed sense of steadiness to the band's poppiest, weakest album in years.

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Clash Music
Opinion: Very Good

After a quiet spell, it seems there's no stopping Belle and Sebastian. Last year's excellent 'A Bit Of Previous' saw a return to pop directness, a record fuelled by zest and the band's exquisite melodic touch. Quick-fire follow-up 'Late Developers' draws from the same well, and while it's certainly pleasing doesn't quite reach the heights of its forebear.

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