If You're Feeling Sinister is the second album by Scottish indie pop band Belle and Sebastian. It was released in 1996 on Jeepster Records in the United Kingdom and in 1997 by Matador Records in the United States. It is often ranked among the best albums of the nineties. Band leader Stuart Murdoch has stated the album is probably his best collection of songs. In 2005, Belle and Sebastian released a live version, If You're Feeling Sinister: Live at the Barbican.Wikipedia
The first blind listen for me. I've heard the name, but never any music from Belle & Sebastian. A little research has informed me that this band contains neither a Belle nor a Sebastian. Instead, it was formed by two Scottish guys named Stuart. False advertisement aside, this is a decent project. It opens strong, then settles into an even keel that mostly faded into the background for me. On that note, it would probably be a great "staring out the window on a roadtrip" album. I think I've heard the title track before, but I can't remember where. I will give credit for the production because all the instruments sound so crisp and clear. But even when the instrumentation picked up on certain songs (like Mayfly!), the vocals remained subdued and almost comatose. They finally pick up a bit in the closing track, but too little too late. I'm sure this is one of those albums that I would've appreciated more when it was released, but 25 years later, there have been plenty of other artists and bands with more engaging work in the alternative/indie spheres. It's alright, and it certainly sounds nice, but I didn't get much out of it. Maybe I'm not feeling sinister enough. Favorite tracks: The Stars of Track and Field, If You're Feeling Sinister, Mayfly. Album cover: a woman who seems to be pondering Kafka's novel about bureaucratic pitfalls and hijinks. I like the picture, but I don't think I can deduce the significance. Does The Trial actually relate to the album? Who knows. And again, seeing a woman on the cover reminds me that this is a band of Stuarts, and we did not get any vocals from the eponymous Belle (who for legal purposes does not exist). 3/5
Another classic indie record, I'm sure it's bound to be misunderstood. Not nearly as twee as its reputation might sometimes suggest, the songwriting is robust and clever, the playing dynamic enough that the soft sections are as impactful as the loud parts. A record seemingly unconcerned with appearing cool or having a hit single, it's 10 great, confident songs - makes for a successful record.
Absolutely brilliant, and one of my favourite indie rock albums of the 1990's. Just a few minutes into the album's fantastic opener, 'The Stars of Track & Field', you know you're in for something special. The rich, engaging lyrics, the gentle acoustic guitar tracks, the surprising but perfectly placed trumpet solo, and the extended crescendo to close out - so good, and yet the album is only getting started. Every song on here is skillfully composed and so enjoyable.
I had so many friends who were into this back in the day. I didn't get it then and I don't get it now. Proto-emo, cutsie-tootsie, shoegaze bullshit. The only reason this got 2 stars is because the production quality is excellent.
I really love this album. It has a warm, indie feel that creates a peaceful and whimsical atmosphere. The melodies are beautiful, reminiscent of Nick Drake, but with a surprisingly modern feeling. The vocal delivery is smooth and satisfying, the lyrics are fun and interesting, the musical performance is breath-taking. Before today, I haven't even heard of this band, but now I am definitely going to be going back to this album. These songs have such satisfying progression, it honestly gave me goosebumps. As far as new albums go, this is my favorite I've heard in a long time. Favorite track: If you're feeling sinister Least Favorite track: Mayfly
Amazing! Never even heard of the artist before, this was such a nice surprise. Real nice to chill to.
I got a lot of a lot of Nick Drake vibes from this one. I can also see how they influenced the diy indie scene as well. Very well written and unusual songs with a thoughtful arrangement and instrumentation
Their second album is where the group hit their stride. Great lyrics and perfect instrumentation. Indie rock at it's best. Best Tracks: Seeing Other People; Me and the Major; Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying;
On sent vraiment toute l'influence de la pop de chambre sur cet album, notamment le moment ou Belle s'installe confortablement dans son lit, posant delicatement sa tête sur son oreiller pendant que Sebastian colle des posters de ses boys band favoris sur les murs.
If this was anymore middle of the road there'd be white lines down the middle of the album. Having said that, the storytelling is decent and the melodies are occasionally quite catchy. The full orchestra adds something and makes it a little less boring. His voice is shit though and that has always annoyed me. Hipstery friends can never understand why I don't like these. Its because they are fundamentally dull. 2/5
mellow and pretty
Imagine my surprise when I learned Belle & Sebastian was not a duo consisting of Belle and Sebastian. Great album. Really reminiscent of that early indie sound like Neutral Milk Hotel (but less weird). Really solid album. Saved this one for a rainy day and happy I did.
Un très joli album qui raconte l'histoire de Sébastien, un enfant solitaire et d'un chien sauvage. Il l'apprivoise et lui donne le nom Belle. Ensemble, ils essaient de déjouer un plan nazi pour capturer des résistants français.
The funny thing about digging into B&S at this point in life is the songs kind of lose the element of surprise, because it sounds similar to a ton of more modern bands that I've been listening to for a decade (Decemberists, Shins, Death Cab, etc). But I have to remind myself that these groups built their sound off of the blueprint B&S laid out well before. The songs here are fantastic: some of the tightest songwriting and performance are consistent throughout the entire record. Tracks will feature little details and flourishes that keep things lively, like the clips of children playing in the title track or the light keyboards and sax in the following track "Mayfly." It's an album that sounds as effortless as a breeze, as if they came into being as they were being performed.
Mediocre at best
I've never listened to a Belle & Sebastian album before and this was exactly what I expected it to sound like. A couple of good songs but nothing to get the ears twitching. My big take away was wondering if the boy who done wrong again was the same boy who had the Arab strap.
I farted on this LP
Basic and boring. Didn’t even realise I had it on until it finished. 1/5
Liked this track https://youtu.be/5-aB4wtWiYI also good front. Solid
Just another complete classic, I love this band.
I just really feel like this album excels in so many categories: lyrics, composition, big time mood.
Einige äußerst schöne Geschichten und Figuren. Einiger der traurigeren Schicksale klingen sehr nach meiner immer noch nachhallenden Depressionsphase. Es fühlt sich wieder gut an, leider.
Kinda slaps. Sad vibes
I loved this
First off, it was only a couple of days ago that I discovered a song from this album and I liked it so could it be fate that this album has been brought to me for today? Who knows, but I really, really enjoyed this album. I liked how the songs were indie pop, but at times had elements of folk-rock too. My favourites from this album are The Stars of Track & Field, Seeing Other People, Get Me Away From Here I'm Dying, If You're Feeling Sinister and Mayfly. 5/5 stars.
Favoriete nummers: - The stars of track & field
I have a lot to say about this album but am very tired. Belle and Sebastian are fucking wonderful and revisiting this one was a delight, I absolutely love the production on the songs, the piano and violin instrumentals on the tracks were wonderful. also his voice is five stars alone
Banger. Great production and progression, melodies and lyrics are super nice. The Scottish Neutral Milk Hotel but with Chronic fatigue syndrome.
Still a classic
Been a fan of Belle and Sebastian, this is their best.
Gentle, melodic, indie pleasantry. this and Boy with the Arab Strap are perfectly created indie masterpieces
Nice and mellow, easy listening
Wow, this is so in my wheelhouse I'm surprised this album wasn't ever reccomended to me. I think I ended up putting half the songs on a playlist
Great listen again.
I knew from the first song this was gonna be an album I’d fall in love with I usually don’t call myself an indie fan but there’s this specific kind of indie I’m obsessed with. Neutral Milk Hotel, The Antlers, etc. these bands that have these beautiful, instrumentally diverse, melodic, but lyrically melancholic pieces that I could listen to for hours if you’re gonna listen to this album, I strongly recommend you read along the lyrics, it really adds to the beauty and atmosphere this is one of those albums too good to rate, a 10/10 just doesn’t feel good enough but yes, I really love this specific kind of sound that reminds me of In the Aeroplane Over the Sea or In the Attic of the Universe (both those albums are also too amazing to rate) just, I can’t even put into words how amazing of an experience it was for me to listen to this please check this amazing art out now i’m gonna go check out Tigermilk
Superb. just fantastic all round
Despite this probably not being my fave Belle and Sebastian, I love them so much this has to be a 5. You simply can't have a bad time listening to this. Such. Good. Vibes.
Best Song: Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying. I love anything that places dark and melancholy meaning within an upbeat presentation. Worst Song: Like Dylan In The Movies. Not a bad song, just the least interesting lyrically of an otherwise excellent album. Overall: Fantastic. Exactly my type of muted, lyrically poignant songwriting.
An indie classic! Favorites: Get Me Away, I'm Dying; If You're Feeling Sinister
"Sad bastard music" as Jack Black's character from High Fidelity called it, Belle and Sebastian will always hold a special place in my heart for being gentle enough to be genuinely touching without succumbing to excessive melodrama
cet album et moi étions sur la même vibration spirituelle au moment précis où je l'ai écouté je pense
Love love love it. Simply beautiful
Finally something really nice. The person who wrote this list knows nothing about music, toooooo American, for sure this person has no idea of music in other countries and regions. Only one culture vision, boring.
In my first year after graduating, I arrived at an aimless place in life where everything I’d thought mattered suddenly didn’t. I discovered Belle and Sebastian’s music, and it immediately struck several chords. Their music is brimming with intricate and heartfelt storylines of disaffected youths, either washed up rebels or sensitive would-be- intellectuals gingerly looking for their real place in the world. “If You’re Feeling Sinister” captures this mixture of lethargy and pain in a seamless set of snapshots. Outsiders who endlessly travel on busses, fumble around with a string of lovers, are obsessed with S&M and bible-studies, and dream of horses. Lyrically, it’s photorealistic to the point you can hear Glasgow’s rain and fog spreading over each track. And the music? Absolutely beautiful. It’s commonly known as “twee pop”, which has always suggested a bit of a snobby, dismissive attitude to me. All it really means is there’s a constant focus on melody, delicately expressed by Stuart Murdoch’s featherweight vocals. There are occasional instrumental flourishes, all gently and perfectly befitting the world the songs and their characters inhabit (Trumpets! Harmonica! Glockenspiel! Recorders!) But really, the arrangements are light and gimmick-free enough to not pull too much attention away from the lyrics and melody. “Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying” is the wry, yet catchy, yet gloomy, yet buoyant core of the album, spanning several moods over its singalong refrain. But every other track here is gold, whatever mood it falls under. Some are upbeat but unravel in pages and pages of scattered poetry, like “Mayfly”, “Seeing Other People” and “Me and the Major”. Some express forlorn sympathy mingled with more than a little hope, like “The Boy Done Wrong Again” and “Fox in the Snow”. Finally, we have the bittersweet sense of triumph building majestically across “Judy and the Dream of Horses”, my all time favourite by the band. Life after graduation got much better, by the way. Learning Stuart Murdoch had struggled with chronic fatigue syndrome for many years put things firmly in perspective.
Música pop perfecta en el seu plantejament i resultat. Rara avis en el panorama dels '90, res a veure amb el brit pop o l'escena rave de l'época, van sorgir com tot un misteri, que envoltava les seves portades i imatge i continuava en uns temes de pop d'orfebreria, diferents a tota la resta, bevent d'influències pretèrites però amb una originalitat molt especial. Tenen una sèrie de discos genials, però aquest primer (o segon, si comptem 'Tigermilk') és segurament el millor. Et fa sentir còmode i feliç, estiguis en l'estat d'ànim que estiguis. De molt pocs discos es pot dir quelcom així
I was a teenage tweenager. I got fully obsessed with Belle and Sebastian. Used to hang out on early web forums dedicated to them and carve their lyrics into desks. So this is not an unbiased review. It was a joy to listen back to it. The sly wit, the aching heartbreak, the ridiculously long and unresolving chord progressions. Just one of the best bands ever. Fun and moving and charming.
Belle & Sebastian just don't miss. A superb little album that is cozy as hell. Good for your rainy day needs. Or for any day really.
This is another high school classic for me. It’s a great listen straight through, the only weak point is “The Boy done wrong again” but in the context of the album it works.
An amazingly good album. The simple, memorable, absolutely gorgeous melodies. The sweet, soulful vocals, the poetic lyrics, the perfect tasteful arrangements. Every song is a winner. A beautiful 5 🌟 album.
First impressions from looking at the tracklist is that all the songs have oddly long titles. After listening to it it's awesome. Five stars. Perfect. Light vocals, lots of intentional reputation and an interesting song structure that seems to melt as the song goes along. Couple saxophone solos that rip and a good guitar solo on one track.
Major fall vibes on this one. A lot cool things going on the background like little harmonicas , touches of keys, a guitar popping in and out and splashes of horns.
I was not familiar with this album before today though I have listened to newer Belle & Sebastian albums a lot. I don't think this is their best material but if this is the record named in the book then we'll just go with it. 5 stars for the album because it is representing an amazing band.
An album that gets better and better the more you listen - it takes a few passes to truly appreciate the wit and turns of phrase in the lyrics and the richness of the musical compositions. Consistent all the way through and each member has their moments of creativity and expression, all held together with Stuart M's strong songwriting. I didn't think this was my favorite Belle & Sebastian record, but after this listen I think I've changed my mind and awarded it a rightful place at the top of the list.
I really enjoyed this album's sound and tone. I liked every single song on the album. I also like the singer's voice quite a bit, but I could understand why others might not. My favourite songs were probably Me and the Major and The Stars of Track and Field.
Quite chill. Enjoyed it.
This is my first listen of this album & likely the first time I’ve taken notice of this band. And I just have to ask….who has hidden them from me for my whole life??? I love their sound and am loving this album.
A twee masterpiece. One of their best!
Winsome 90s indie done beutifully
Fantastic album that I'd never listened to before
No es mi favorito, pero ....5.
I love this album and used to listen to it a ton, and it's great to revisit. Almost flawless.
Love this album!
An excellent record from a brilliant band. There’s a misfit quality to Belle and Sebastian and these songs of outsiders and strugglers makes the listener feel part of a secret club - a club sufficiently large enough to rally the fans on a nascent internet to vote the band best newcomer at the 1999 Brit awards. The album is catchy, charming and witty; the production is excellent, full of beautifully arranged lines and Murdoch’s vocals pulls everything along. Although later albums are even better than this, IYFS gets five stars in case this is Belle and Sebastian’s only appearance on this list. If you liked this album check out the live version of the entire album.
A great classic throwing back to influences from 60's early indie music like the Velvet Underground but never sounding like pastiche or copy-cat. The songwriting is stunning and the stories told through the lyrics are fun and diverse. Most of the music here is acoustic guitar driven tunes that are superbly elevated by beautiful orchestral arrangements. Some of the best examples of this are the trumpets on " Stars of Track and Field", the strings on "The Boy Done Wrong Again" and recorder, trumpet and organ on " Judy and the Dream of Horses". The influence of this album can be heard in great albums by Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire, The Shins and Fleet Foxes. For me the one-two punch of Tigermilk and If You're Feeling Sinister is one of the best combo of debut and sophomore albums of all time. Stunning. 9,7/10
Utterly charming and winsome, and novelistically rich in emotional and intellectual content. It's easy to mock this band as the height of Millennial tweeness or cottagecore, but one finds it hard not to like and admire the work, given its orginality and the band's ability to do so well what they so clearly set out to do.
Greatly enjoyed, reminded me of Sondre Lerche
A brilliant pop album with a dark underside. The music is multi-layered and classic while the lyrics have a decided edge. Classic
I had gotten Belle & Sebastian's album Tigermilk a bit ago on this generator, but knew of this album from my partner's love for it, so was hoping that may enjoyment from their prior album would just be heightened more in this, and it absolutely was. It is hard to explain what makes this album so enjoyable, but the melancholy feeling with the easy listening really are heighted with the almost "locomotive" feeling of some songs, while knowing when to reel it back to really make the album feel fuller. It's just a feeling that isn't quite folk, alternative, or anything else, but its own thing that is really quite enjoyable. Excellent listen.
While twee may be a cliche, this album is the reason why it was ever A Thing in the first place.
Very easy listening, very nice
Like Dylan in the Movies
Good vibe music, none jumped out specifically but enjoyable all the way through as background music
First songs one of most beautiful of B&S, like their first albums better than later ones, more melancholy, less fun. This is a five star album easily
Good night album. Solid all around
Really relaxing and easy to listen to. Great album for background music to chill.
I'm getting more lazy with listening to these and with my reviews but I really enjoyed this album and 100% would listen to this again. Maybe this weekend in the sun.
Really like this album, although I may be a little biased as they are local to me. Nothing ground-breaking musically, but a beautiful collection of ear-pleasing songs. Only slight let down are the recorders on 'Judy and the Dream of Horses' - nobody needs that.
good album, i like them a lot, not a 5 but a good 4
blale e seblastian
I had only heard Bell & Seb in passing, so this full-album-listen was a first for me. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it led me to The Boy With The Arab Strap.
This has been one of the more promising albums I've heard so far. I think it's a bit mellow for morning listenings while working but I will come back to this.
I was feeling canhoto. Gostei das letras, se eu tivesse sido emo na adolescência daria 5.
The hipstersauce my ears crave. Too many kids screaming in the background. Coupla bangers, like don't look back like dylan and title track.
I went through a Belle and Sebastian stage in med school. I’ll let you know when I finish it.