Belle and Sebastian: The Third Eye Centre

belle and sBelle and Sebastian
The Third Eye Centre
(Matador Records)

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Belle and Sebastian have been adored by the indie set since 1996’s Tigermilk. Since then, they’ve consistently released quality, upbeat records. The Third Eye Centre is their second compilation album, bringing together B-sides and rarities from the past decade.

I have yet to hear a bad Belle and Sebastian song, so The Third Eye Centre fills the void created by the three years since the band’s last stunning album, Belle and Sebastian Write About Love. With nineteen songs and more than an hour of music, this selection is diverse and rewarding.

The three remixes featured are delightfully different. The opening song, “I’m A Cuckoo (Avalanches Remix),” is a quirky take on that single, adding more than generous flute flourishes. “Your Cover’s Blown (Miaoux Miaoux Remix)” however, has a dirty, sinister dance vibe. “I Didn’t See It Coming” was one of the standout tracks on Write About Love, so Richard X’s mix gives it a dreamy ‘80s gloss perfect for the club.

I’m also spoiled for choice in original tracks to highlight here. “Suicide Girl” seems to engage in wordplay between the smutty pinup site SuicideGirls and actual mental illness. “Heaven In the Afternoon” is a delight, from the substantial, to Sarah Martin’s delicate vocal delivery. “Mr. Richard” however, stunned me most as it has an intriguing 2 Tone edge without getting too far into ska.

If you’re not a Belle and Sebastian completist, then this collection will tide you over until their next album without any struggle at all. If you have everything collected herein already, well, they should head into the studio soon, so soothe yourself with this.

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About Casey Hicks

Casey Hicks toils her daylight hours away in an office high above Manhattan in order to afford nights of passionately scribbling. The first song she remembers ever hearing is "Lola" by the Kinks. She thinks this explains a lot.
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