Belle and Sebastian, Tigermilk

Barry Walters

By Barry Walters

on 04.22.11 in Reviews


Belle and Sebastian
The fragile pop charms of this Scottish band’s debut may never have been bettered

Originally pressed as a vinyl-only LP limited to 1,000 copies, the debut album by Glasgow, Scotland's Belle & Sebastian would probably be insufferable — if it didn't triumph on nearly every level. The chamber-pop product of leader Stuart Murdoch's actual music business class project features droll lyrics, human-sized performances, tender arrangements and an insular intensity that polarizes listeners into fanatical followers or bitter detractors just as the Smiths once did back in the day. The band gradually learned to play its instruments better, but it's debatable whether B&S 'subsequent, more professional discs bettered this one's fragile charm.