Release Date: Oct 7, 2003
Record label: Sanctuary
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Pop
Few bands have emerged so perfectly formed, and lost their way so dramatically, as Glaswegian septet Belle and Sebastian. Their first two albums were exquisitely moving and eloquent, their next two declined into a babble of competing musical voices that sounded as if they belonged on different records. Their creative renaissance here can be credited to the production expertise of old hand Trevor Horn (whose recent CV includes tATu and Seal), but also to the band's renewed sense of purpose.
The cover shot of Dear Catastrophe Waitress immediately signaled something was out of place. Where was the dire disinterest of If You’re Feeling Sinister's Kafka chick, or The Boy With the Arab Strap's not so strapping boy? The orange image staring back from Belle & Sebastian’s latest – a disastrous scene at a crowded Italian restaurant – was hectic, complicated and bereft of apathy. The pretty girl shoots a supercilious stare at the camera, while a spaghetti-clad patron tries his best to be both comforting and suave simultaneously.