Dear Catastrophe Waitress - Belle & Sebastian
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Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 40 Ratings

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  • Summary: The veteran Scottish band's first album for Sanctuary (after a long run on Matador Records) is also their first without singer/cellist Isobel Campbell. The 12 tracks here were produced by Trevor Horn.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. 100
    By far the strongest collection of songs the band have ever assembled. [Nov 2003, p.114]
  2. A stunning collection of unpredictability that has to stand among the best pop albums of 2003.
  3. 90
    Arguably the band's most magical record to date. [Nov 2003, p.123]
  4. An exceedingly welcome return to form.
  5. The sound hasn't significantly slickened, but the performances are tighter, confident, even bouncy, bringing the band much closer to the vintage pop and soul records it adores.
  6. This bold misstep is evidence that even the greatest bands on the planet occasionally display mortal chinks in the artistic armor. [#5, p.98]
  7. This is a dog of an album, by anyone's standards, but if you play it next to 'If You're Feeling Sinister', which we did, then it is the sort of dog that shits all over the kitchen and has constant mange.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Oct 15, 2010
    10
    An absolute gem of an album without any weaknesses. A pop album of the very highest quality and perhaps the moment when Belle and SebastianAn absolute gem of an album without any weaknesses. A pop album of the very highest quality and perhaps the moment when Belle and Sebastian finally delivered and came of age. I can't recommend it highly enough. The production by Trevor Horn has to be recognised as playing a big part in turning a good pop group into a great one with this album. Expand
  2. GilbertMulroneycakes'ChristmasExtravaganza
    Dec 25, 2003
    10
    Take a look at Playlouder's review. Listen to the sample If She Wants Me chorus they give you. Try and make the connection between one Take a look at Playlouder's review. Listen to the sample If She Wants Me chorus they give you. Try and make the connection between one of the greatest choruses Murdoch's ever written and the text. In fact, try and find something in the text that tells you a blind thing about the album. That's the problem with music journalism - this thing where records are reviewed by people who just won't respond to it, because it's not their sort of thing. Fine, but then you've written a review aimed at people who WOULDN'T BUY THE SODDING ALBUM in the first place, and so very probably WON'T BE READING EITHER. Combine that with a review that gleefully dances on B&S' grave - not that it's been dug yet by any means - and very childish references to dogs andor fecal matter and, well, problem on top of problem. And let's not forget the fact that next to nothing specific any music journalist can write will have any relevance beyond their own self by the nature of music. So the net result is "Adam Alphabet" wasting his and his readers' time to no import or effect. This is why I stick to movies. Anyway, just to prevent this review from saying NOTHING ABOUT THE ALBUM (and remembering that it's actually Christmas Day as I write this - no, I have nothing better to do), here's the news: Dear Catastrophe Waitress - adressing B&S' fanbase, natch - is their best work for...since Sinister, anyway - though different in many ways to the B&S of old. "Step Into My Office, Baby" is what music-hall would be like if it was played straight. By Scotsmen. "Lord Anthony" is their most gorgeous ballad since Chalet Lines, only with a happier ending. "Piazza, New York Catcher" (I know what that means now - I'm so great) finds Murdoch in a room with just a guitar and the Simon and Garfunkel back catalogue, and is indeed Great. You'll ead the title track's lyrics and think what the tune will be. Then you'll hear it and find out that you're completely wrong. Cheers then. "I'm A Cuckoo" is quite startling with its cheery plagarism. And I'm here to tell you that even Adam Alphabet must have been tapping his feet, hands, and pretty much everything else to "Roy Walker". He may try to say otherwise, but in that case he is a liar, a fraud and a charlatan. In short, it's all good. More consistent than Boy With The Arab Strap, more complete than Storytelling, and with its fair share of proper let's-do-the-show-right-here-in-the-barn showstoppers, more satisfying than Fold Your Hands Child. To go back to the start: that chorus from If She Wants Me goes "If I could do just one near perfect thing, I'd be happy". Stuart Murdoch must therefore be ecstatic, because after Tigermilk and If You're Feeling Sinister, this makes three. And Adam Alphabet can just sod off, basically. Merry Christmas. Expand
  3. JohnT
    Aug 17, 2004
    10
    Such a gorgeous cd....... I sit in bliss whenever I listen to it, it's a very cheerful album, except for Lord Anthony, which is a bit Such a gorgeous cd....... I sit in bliss whenever I listen to it, it's a very cheerful album, except for Lord Anthony, which is a bit sad in a brilliant way, my favorite song though is definitely "if you find yourself caught in love" I just LOOOVE that song! oh, and in response to the Playlouder review by "Adam Alphabet", well I was looking at other reviews on the site and this is what he had to say about 50 cent's album "Ah... we can't detail every track in 200 words. It's all good. " haha apparently belle and sebastian's literate, poetic, beautiful nature was WAAAY over this guy's head Expand
  4. BryanC
    Jan 6, 2004
    9
    With their last 3 meandering albums which despite a splattering of great songs, were becoming increasingly dimishing melodic returns. Then With their last 3 meandering albums which despite a splattering of great songs, were becoming increasingly dimishing melodic returns. Then this - suddenly, out of nowhere, Murdoch releases this collection of unalloyed gems (and always better when singing the songs himself). I haven't heard an album in 2003 which sounds so joyful. It reminds me of what I first loved about the band, the first time you put "If you're feeling sinister" into your CD player - but this time more distilled, streamlined and paradoxically, even better... Expand
  5. Jul 22, 2011
    9
    Probably my favorite album of theirs after Sinister, believe it or not. "If She Wants Me," "I'm a Cuckoo," and the hilarious "Step Into MyProbably my favorite album of theirs after Sinister, believe it or not. "If She Wants Me," "I'm a Cuckoo," and the hilarious "Step Into My Office, Baby" are all pop gems with no shortage of great melodies or hilariously ironic lyrics. Expand
  6. NicoleF
    Sep 3, 2004
    8
    I'm a die hard fan and I admit that I had a hard time getting into this album but now I cant stop playing it. I do feel it reflects I'm a die hard fan and I admit that I had a hard time getting into this album but now I cant stop playing it. I do feel it reflects B&S's typical lyrics trageted at outcast as well as an intresting and provoking look at life. Expand
  7. Rachel
    Oct 17, 2003
    5
    I love B&S but apart from the better songs (Piazza NY Catcher, Roy Walker, Stay Loose) it's kitschy and dull, sometimes both at once

See all 27 User Reviews