Where once there was soppy indie, now there is solid sunshine pop.
Chris Long 2002
To twee or not to twee, that is the question, and it's one that Belle and Sebastian have spent the last few years answering in the former.
Yet, as soon as the laidback bass of"Act Of The Apostle" opens this, their seventh album,you know something of an epiphany has taken place.
It could be the use of Beck's producer Tony Hoffer or the Californian rays of the recording sessions, but where once there was soppy indie, now there is solid sunshine pop.
It's not a complete departure, but for once, the quaint sensibilities don't overburden the tunes and the result, particularly on the insanely catchy "Funny Little Frog" and the chunky Bowie groove of "The Blues Are Still Blue", is an essential blend of quintessentially retro beats and fine storytelling.