Belle & Sebastian, Honeyblood | Riviera Theatre | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Belle & Sebastian

Belle & Sebastian

Reuben Cox

When: Fri., April 3, 8 p.m. 2015
Price: sold out
On Belle and Sebastian’s first new album in five years, the recent Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance (Matador), Stuart Murdoch sounds at once like his usual self and a larger-than-life troubador. The singer’s pretty, delicate melodies remain intact along with his wispy delivery, but at times the grooves pulsing beneath his voice seem to arrive from another world—a missive from a nightclub rather than a teahouse. On a song like the infectious “Allie” the harder beats and moderately seething guitars make sense when paired with the lyrical content—both are urgent and emotional—but on the album’s first single, “The Party Line,” the throbbing, quasi-funk four-on-the-floor and the prevalence of a synthetic fake-disco bass line still feel jarring a dozen listens in. It’s as if Belle & Sebastian have taken it upon themselves to remix their own music and magnify a lovely aesthetic for those incapable of latching on to anything without a big beat. But beneath the tepid embrace of EDM, there’s no mistaking the sound of the band. —Peter Margasak
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