Tigermilk is the 1996 debut album from Scottish pop group Belle and Sebastian. Originally given a limited release (1,000 copies) by Electric Honey, the album was subsequently re-released in 1999 by Jeepster Records. The album is named after an instrumental that did not end up on the album – it was later performed on Belle and Sebastian's early tours. All of the songs on the album were written by Stuart Murdoch between 1993 and 1996, and originally performed solo on the Glasgow open mic circuit. Though he performs on the album, trumpet player Mick Cooke was not then an official member of the band.Wikipedia
If The Eagles are an IKEA table - assembled and available for people who simply want a table to put things on rather than anything else - then Belle & Sebastian are an artisan working out of their own woodshop, hewing tables out of trees they've felled themselves. Sure, you have to pay a bit more, and sure it won't be ready for at least 6 months, but when the table does arrive you'll want to show it off: imperfections, visible carving strokes, notches, resin stains and all. Because this table will carry stories with it, and it will lend itself to further stories, and it will surprise you with the joy you feel every time you come into your dining room and find a one of a kind table sitting there; your table. Table.
I'd have never paired Beauty from Beauty and the Beast with the crab from The Little Mermaid, but Disney have done it here and it has resulted in a fairly okay record. It hasn't blown my mind in the same way a collaboration between Scar and Princess Jasmine would have.
Beautiful, eclectic indie pop album. Everything fits together and is meaningful with each second passing. Each song has a life of their own and presented in their own take. A musical journey of an album that set up an unique, intriguing sound from this group. Stand-Outs: The State I Am In, We Rule The School
ok this is a hipster's dream. boring folky songs with very light marching beat drums, singer(s?) never raises his voice high enough to know if he can actually sing or not, general sound like the postman pat theme. So inoffensive it makes me want to go commit crimes just to make up for how fucking boring it is. 2/5 because I pity it more than I outright hate it.
I know they're twee and often cloying (and beloved of the cardigan brigade) but this was a revelation to me: truly bumming lyrics clothed most often in upbeat, layered music. Real kitchen sink stuff with occasional moments of pure elation across a remarkable debut album. 'Expectations' and 'She's Losing It' are stars amongst several all-timers on here. And it's all the result of a Scottish welfare scheme. This was the first album I bought when I moved to the UK in the late '90s, probably because it had been rereleased on Jeepster. Proof that those listening posts in HMV Oxford St really worked.
They're in full flower on Tigermilk, surfacing on tunes throughout the album, but crystallizing on the skipping "She's Losing It," rushed "Expectations," '60s throwback "I Could Be Dreaming," and, especially, "The State I Am In," a masterful melodrama that points toward the richness of If You're Feeling Sinister, which arrived just a few months later. Those are the moments when Belle and Sebastian feel preternaturally gifted, seeming to know precisely who they were right out of the gate.
Cool debut album from one of the first indie bands to warm our hearts. Twas a refreshing listen!
I am torn ... is good, easy-listening, nice music to wake to. But I don't find it exciting in any way. Listened to a few newer songs (Tigermilk is their 1st album), and they are still similar. So for me, it is still just "meh".
Not really anything positive I can add for this album unfortunately. I found it supremely mediocre and extremely boring. None of the tracks sounded like they differentiated from each other and each song was like listening to a replay of the last. The first and last songs could be passed as the same without too much convincing. In addition to this the music is mediocre and nothing to get excited over. I honestly fail to work out how this album would make it’s way into any top 20,000 list let alone 10001 of all time. 1 Star
To my mind one of the best Belle and Sebastian albums. The lyrics are wry, well observed and witty. Every time I listen to it I smile to myself, and even if I am feeling tired it always perks me up. The brass work on Losing It is terrific and really lifts the track. My favourite track is Expectations. It is sobering to think that the references to Debenhams are somewhat dated, how social trends evolve!
'You're just a baby' is Robert Plant's favourite from this. The guy loves babies. Not in a good way.
Love this one, Thanks for introducing me
I listened to this
Perfektes Debut, der kalifornischen Schotten, mit gleichbleibend hohem Niveau in puncto Songwriting, eigener Handschrift & Alltagsgeschichten wie aus Indie Movies entlehnt, die erst noch gedreht werden mussten. Ihre Ästhetik bedient sich in Verweisen auf französische Nouvelle Vague, Jonathan Richmans Ringel-Shirt mit Halstuch und Literatur im Allgemeinen und dabei sind sie so aufreizend mühelos stilprägend, denn ihr leiser Tonfall war im Britpop des Jahres 1996 eher die Ausnahme, Quiet is the New Loud als Mini Hype noch nicht erfunden und auch mit nur einem Finger den Nuller Electroclash ("Electric Renaissance") mal eben angestupst und wieder im Schrank versteckt. Vor allem aber haben sie vieles andere überdauert, sich bis zu einem gewissen Punkt ("The Life Pursuit") weiterentwickelt, bis es einfach nicht mehr weiterging, ohne sich selbst zu karikieren. Werde immer etwas melancholisch horny wenn ich eines ihrer frühen Alben höre - ganz unabhängig von diesem Cover. schmachtende 4.7
"I gave myself to sin, I gave Myself to providence and I've Been there and back again The state that I am in." (The state that I am in) "Tell Veronica the secrets of the boy you never kissed" (Expectations) *heart emoji*
I really love this album. It is like being Cleopatra and getting into a lovely warm bath of milk (Tigermilk).
I was convinced I wouldn't be rating this above 4 stars. I'm a fan of the band, but have always much preferred the sublime "If You're Feeling Sinister", which I had on here a few weeks ago. "Tigermilk", while a very assured debut, doesn't reach the same heights. Still, as I listened to it with fresh ears, I kept waiting for a reason to knock it down, for the weak link... and none came. It's got "The State I Am In", "Expectations" and "She's Losing It" as an opening triage which are all incredible. Perfect balance between detailed, vivid character studies and warm, reassuring melodies. "Mary Jo" gives "Eleanor Rigby" a run for its money as a study in loneliness. "My Wandering Days Are Over" is up there with my all time favourites by the band. "Electronic Renaissance" is the outlier, sure... but at least it's an experiment with a different sound. So they're going to have to take my five stars- sometimes nothing else will do.
It's a soft, sweet, and wistful album. If it was a tad more twee it would be too saccharine for me but this is juuust right! This Aussie gives it four arvo cuppas out of five.
I thought this was a solid debut for them. The melodies are pretty catchy and they straddle the line between cheery and depressing with the combination of their instrumentation of lyrics. Favorite Track: The State I Am In Least Favorite Track: Mary Jo
I used to love this album when I was younger, it was exactly how I felt. But now the undertone of sadness inherent in the lyrics is a little too painful. Still, one of the better albums out there.
Belle and Sebastian are a band that, frankly, should’ve graced my eardrums much earlier than 2022. I’m a huge Matador Records fan, and I love a lot of their contemporaries - Yo La Tengo and Stereolab for starters. They were always on my periphery, but I never really took the time to listen. I think I probably fell victim to the stereotype on this one - that they are/were exceedingly twee. Not gonna lie, they kind of are, but Tigermilk is still a fantastic record, especially if you love 60’s psych/pop filtered through the lens of 90’s indie rock. The production is great, the songs are well crafted and to the point, the instrumentation is varied and impeccably played. This is a really great record and I’m disappointed in myself for not giving Belle and Sebastian a chance before now. RIYL: Yo La Tengo’s “Fakebook”, Stereolab, The Shin’s “Oh, Inverted World”
I liked this within the first 10 seconds. The vocals are a combo of folky, lovely and depressing. I like how the different well played instruments move in and out and the many style changes including a very captivating electronic tune (Elec Ren) after which the instruments really come alive on “Could be dreaming”. To top it off, just when I was thinking I had it w ambience, Mary Jo ended and did Tigermilk. It's nice to see cool school projects that don't involve blowing shit up.
The relentlessly prosaic lyrics border on the ridiculous. The mellifluous vocals border on the ridiculous. The band's obsession with melody borders on the ridiculous. The sum total of this ridiculousness? The sublime. If you want to figure out how, remember that pop music thrives off excess. This is just a different type of excess than we're used to.
Fragile contents. Handle with care. Second B&S album on 1001 and I wish I was converted. Maybe once Arab Strap shows up sometime in 2023. I just can't get on board yet. I feel for you Belle. You're a gentle underdog. You see beauty and sadness in subtle corners. You still have the lightness of youth. You're a bit irritating to hang out with. Delicate stemware. C
This album made me feel nostalgic for University and I adored it, but I've never heard it before today. I love the violin and orchestra feel of it so much. Big highlights- Electronic Renaissance, She's Losing It, and We Rule the School. But every song rocks.
Aquí soy muy parcial, porque Belle & Sebastian ha estado entre mis bandas favoritas de la vida, desde la prepa que los conocí. Este no es uno de mis discos preferidos de ellos, pero tiene todo lo que uno puede esperar de ellos: algunas buenas letras, muchos instrumentos, moods variados y como toda esa vibra ""indie"" que se puede pedir. Antes, "Electronic Renaissance" era casi que mi top del disco, pero ahora pienso que la que más quiero del disco es "I Don't Love Anyone" por afinidad personal. "The State I Am In", "I Could Be Dreaming" y "Expectations" completan lo que más disfruto de este disquito. En fin, pues claro que mi sesgado 10/10.
This is one of my favorite albums by one of my favorite bands
One of the best Belle & Sebastian's albums. A great indie example of 90's
Hier deutlich festzustellen: ein gewisser 90er-Bias, vermutlich einfach wegen des intensiveren Erlebens und Erinnerns einiger Platten (Pavement, Blur, Massive Attack, Faith No More, ...). Hier allerdings liegt der Fall anders, ich hab Belle & Sebastian so richtig erst Anfang der Nuller auf den Schirm genommen und auch da zunächst nicht besonders groß. Wäre also leicht gewesen, das hier mit einer lockeren 3 durchzubewerten, ABER: das geht natürlich nicht, nein, hier nun wirklich nicht. Da sind NUR HITS drauf, "gut gealtert" wäre eine Beleidigung weil die meisten von denen sind sogar noch besser geworden. Glatte 5, klar verdient.
Shameful that I have never listened to this album. I'm more familiar with Sinister and Catastrophe Waitress. This album is beautiful and I love it.
Out of 1000 the first 25 had two for Neil young and two were belle and Sebastian. This algorithm sucks. Another great one. B&S are fantastic.
Started nice The State I am is a personal favourite Feels like a wedding band but also good for road trips
loved it more than i remembered loving it
I just adore this album. it's twee as fuck, and I don't care!! It's awesome!! I feel weird giving it 5 stars because I think their output continues to improve in the next two releases, but ... oh well!
Fast becoming a favourite album of mine. I like the place it takes me to.
really good. every song was good and different
Like the best collection of short stories, achingly beautiful
Fun fun fun!! Really liked this one!!
I was expecting boring standard 90s indie. I got interesting and excellent 90s indie with a lot of cool things going on. A really nice vibe and just the right balance of consistency and variety to hold it together whilst also keeping it interesting. I instantly really like it. A very unexpected 5/5.
How lovely, this is a long standing favourite.
I can listen to The State I Am In on repeat all day
i cannot rate this fairly, since this and If You're Feeling Sinister are two of the most formative albums of my teenage years, so instead i will just praise stuart murdoch's ability to depict a very familiar kind of comfortable discontent.
I hadn’t listened to much Belle & Sebastian before, but loved how the soft pop sounded on a cold and rainy day in Chicago.
Despite being a huge B&S fan, I'd not heard many tracks from the debut. What a mistake. It's twee as fuck, but gloriously so. The jangly guitars, gorgeous brass, delightful woodwind. It's indie, and cute, and mischievous, and sincere. I'm biased but I love this shit.
I am a big fan of Belle and Sebastian's next two albums "If You're Feeling Sinister" and "The Boy with the Arab Strap" but have never really dug into this, their debut album very much. What a miss...this album is outstanding. Most songs start slow and build momentum with additional instruments and vocals. Typically, a piano or acoustic guitar starts the song which finishes with violins, keywords, cellos, trumpets, Mariachi horns and probably more. A unique sound for the time and still is. Lead singer and song writer Stuart Murdoch also tends to tell a story with his subjects all over the place: great use of the instruments to try to match the story. What's great about this album and a surprise to me is the musical variety it starts out and continues with. "The State I Am In" starts acoustically and builds with backing vocals and additional instruments. I did not know this but a Pitchfork top 20 song for the decade. "Expectations" throws in Mariachi horns. "You're Just a Baby" and "My Wandering Days Are Over" sound like they're straight out of the 60's. "Electronic Renaissance" employs some weird keyboards; is this a Beach House song? Wilco was definitely listening to "I Could Be Dreaming" as it sounds like it should be on their "Summerteeth" album which came out three years later. This was fun.
I love Belle & Sebastian.
love it so much
Electronic Renaissance, The State I Am in, entre otras. Uno de mis discos favoritos de Belle And Sebastian. Vinilo en cuanto lo encuentre.
If every indie album was this good, the world would be a very different place. That said, I think I prefer some of their later works to this one just because I think they got a bit more unique with age (specifically with "Your Cover's Blown", that song is a masterpiece). The lyrics are very warming and intimate which is a hallmark of a great indie album. The instrumentation is also very dense and varied which is something a lot of other contemporary indie songs (and popular songs at the time) lacked. If In The Aeroplane Over The Sea is a little too /mu/ for you, this is a perfect alternative. Highlights: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9.
The perfect amount of whimsical indie rock joy condensed to 10 tracks. Favourites: "The State I'm In", "Electronic Resonance", "We Rule The School"
An old favourite. Love their lyrics and simple sounding, but complex melodies. A great album.
Absolutely classic album - great melodies & lovely lyrics.
Little alt folks but enjoyable
Really good, nice variety of sounds and catchy songs! Calming, even the more uptempo songs
Slapped harder than flip flops when you’re running.
I <3 <3 <3 this album
I have it on vinyl (not the legendary first pressing) and I credit it with my obsession with cute, twee indie. Falling somewhere between Simon and Garfunkel, Pulp and the roster of Sarah records, the lovely meandering chord patterns, sensitive but hilarious lyrics and surprising instrumentation make for a brilliant album. I carved the lyrics to 'We Rule the School' on a desk during my GCSEs, and mumbled a 'Thank you your songs mean everything to me' at Stuart Murdoch at my first Glastonbury. Basically, this one is rigged - Expectations, She's Losing It, We Rule The School and the State I Am In are four of my favourite songs ever. And I'll likely continue listening to their albums in chronological order today, at least up to Dear Catastrophe Waitress - and then stopping only because I have kids and I'm busy!!!
Belle and Sebastian’s first album was the result of being chosen to produce by a music business class at Stow College in Glasgow. Written in the wake of Stuart Murdoch’s chronic fatigue syndrome onset, the songs are focused on the stories of ‘normal people’ told in a very personal and incisive way. The music itself is deceptively simple, but is incredibly layered.
Very British, very twee in the best way. High school drama lyrics with bouncy music.
It's like the most inoffensive tunes conjuring a strange suburban 70/80's world from my childhood with disturbing lyrics with often uncomfortable imagery and unbearable sadness. I've tried getting into these guys before but it's true their songs end up sounding very samey and bland. Maybe it's the lyrics that saves them? It hit me this morning in the right way in tune with my mood so maybe the breakthrough has been made? The state that I am in.
Wonderful first album, a early sign the bad would shift gears later on. Never given the attention the 3 albums that came out after this do. Poppy and catchy
A twee masterpiece from one of Scotland's more supreme bands. They don't come fully formed these days, an aesthetic that is assured and automatically iconic from the moment eyes were lain on them. Of course, Belle & Sebastian's music is the focal point (and always will be, they would get better and better) and they provide taut and sophisticated songs that would form the backbone of a influential indie scene.
Love this album. Instant 5!
Surprisingly nice album…
This really brings me back. Super serotonin boost.
This is great indie pop. Wiki calls it Scottish pop, but I can't hear much of an accent. "The State I Am In" is quite excellent. The rest is also good, but it doesn't stand out. I enjoyed the whole album.
Exceeded my expectations! I will definitely be listening to more folky stuff. Beautiful instrumentals and messages in every song. Strong 9, maybe even a 10.
One of the many excellent Belle & Sebastian albums, first rate song writing as ever :D
This gets a bit of a nostalgia bump, for sure - seem to remember piecing this album together from individual tracks obtained from napster or limewire in the very early naughts.... Actually, though, even without the nostalgia bump, this really holds up - some absolutely fantastic songs! Fave tracks - "The State I Am In" is probably my overall fave B&S track. On this play through, "Electronic Renaissance" really stood out to me, too....
I was introduced to Belle and Sebastian in the late nineties and was instantly taken by their catchy melodies. The lyrics peer into moments in the lives of interesting characters. These little slices of life are peppered with surprises - sometimes in stark contrast to the jaunty tunes. My imagination takes off filling in details of these fascinating stories. These songs still manage to surprise and delight even though this album has been in heavy rotation for more than 20 years. I never get tired of these lovely vignettes. This is such a perfect album - one of my all-time favorites.
I was not familiar with this album, although "She's Losing It" was given to me on a mix CD many years ago by a dear old friend and was enough of a favorite that it made it into my iTunes playlists in the iPod era. I hate to call it delightful, since that seems like it's more lightweight than it is, but it was. My rating reflects that I really wanted to spend more time with it today than I was able.
The beginning of a great career. A pleasure to listen to every time.
1. The State That I Am in: lovely little folk song, enjoy this one a lot. singers soft voice compliments the instrumental really well. 8.5/10. 2. Expectations: love how upbeat this song is, overall a banger. 10/10. 3. She's Losing It: great melody, cheery vibes and upbeat. 8/10. 4. Electronic Renaissance: starts of bit crazy but really grows on you. 8.5/10 5. You're Just a Baby: makes you swing, love the vocal layering. 7.5/10. 6. I Could Be Dreaming: yeah just great sounding. 9/10 7. We Rule the School: nice mellow song, great violin and vocal layering. 8/10. 8. My Wandering Days Are Now: again super nice song, very chill. Two voice part was nice. 8.5/10 9. I Don't Love Anyone: alright but maybe a bit bland compared to the rest. 7/10. 10. Mary Jo: ahh this one is great. lovely mellow vibes and just great vocals. They seem much clearer than the rest of the tracks. 10/10.
It's nice to have gotten this album sooner rather than later. I don't think this is as good as If You're Feeling Sinister, but it was still very good. Still has a similar feeling that I enjoyed. I'd say maybe a few of the songs should have been a little shorter, but that's fine. They were still enjoyable. My favourite songs were Expectations, Electric Renaissance, and I Could Be Dreaming.
Really diverse set of offerings here. Astounding that it was recorded in five days as a school project. It’s like proto-Sufjan.
Very lovely. That's all I can say, really. I appreciated the atmosphere. 4.5, not quite 5 though.
Uhhhhh... It's good
indie pop, twee pop
Lækker vellyd og feel-good easy listening rock pop. Absolut et genlyt værd
Entertaining and enjoyable indie pop with some good harmonies and melpdies
What a cool little album. I'd heard of Belle and Sebastian for a long time (I think starting with High Fidelity), but I don't know that I'd ever actually listened to them. It was certainly different, but very fun to listened to. Solid alternative pop music 4/5
Incredibly strong for a first album. I didn't LOVE it like I've loved their newer stuff, but I was very impressed. Some of the lyrics are a bit out-there and sometimes uncomfortable, but the soundscapes and overall composition is exciting and unique.
I really really enjoyed this. What a gem.
Album was so, so, but their later music was much better!
Upbeat, and diverse with rich tones and sounds
It grew on me pretty quick... I liked Expectations and The State I'm In the most, though the rest of the album was enjoyable as well (Electronic Renaissance probably the least). Mellow style and engaging lyrics.
Reminds me of 2000 - Hope St. Always preferred Boy with the Arab Strap, think the pop jangle of Dirty Dream #2, sold me on Belle and Sebastian.
Not the biggest fan of indie, but I found myself enjoying the songs and harmonies on this album. A good album overall.