User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 41 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 41
  2. Negative: 1 out of 41

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  1. Shane
    Oct 9, 2003
    10
    Belle & Sebastian's rise to semi-stardom was halted by other band mates wanting more action. This is less so the case in Dear Catastrophe Waitress. Stu is clearly in charge here, and with the help of Trevor Horn he makes this album a masterpiece.
  2. time
    Aug 9, 2006
    10
    Another flawless effort.
  3. sebb
    Oct 10, 2003
    10
    Their best album so far.
  4. [Anonymous]
    Oct 12, 2003
    10
    I LOVE them!
  5. kimj
    Oct 20, 2003
    10
    Takes a while but well worth the effort.
  6. 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 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 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
  7. 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 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, 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
  8. KeithG
    Feb 2, 2004
    10
    Maybe their best album yet.
  9. Mark
    Oct 15, 2003
    10
    I never liked Belle and Sebastian before this album but this album will reach more of an audiance and is all around great.
  10. lew
    Dec 15, 2003
    10
    excellent
  11. vexx
    Oct 31, 2003
    10
    piazza, their best song; waitress, their best album
  12. NickD
    Feb 17, 2004
    9
    When a band like Belle and Sebastian has gotten to be closely associated with the doldrums, it's really nice to hear them have a conscious change in heart.
  13. BenjaminBunny
    Apr 1, 2004
    9
    "Dear Catastrophe Waitress" is Belle & Sebastian in color-saturated cinemascope--bright, frilly and bordering on overproduced--not at all what you'd expect from such a normally dour group. Somehow Trevor Horn's sugar-high production has bolstered Belle & Sebastian's strengths by adding an element of kitschy fun to their still brilliantly academic and touching poetry. Their "Dear Catastrophe Waitress" is Belle & Sebastian in color-saturated cinemascope--bright, frilly and bordering on overproduced--not at all what you'd expect from such a normally dour group. Somehow Trevor Horn's sugar-high production has bolstered Belle & Sebastian's strengths by adding an element of kitschy fun to their still brilliantly academic and touching poetry. Their most lively and catchy collection to date. Expand
  14. heirloom
    Jun 8, 2004
    10
    mealncholy never sounded this fun.
  15. 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 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 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
  16. KEdu
    Nov 25, 2003
    9
    Muito bom. Já havia desistido deles mas me surpreenderam neste.
  17. John
    Jan 16, 2005
    10
    Truly their masterwork. I agree with the neumu.net review completely - It is their "Revolver." They've expanded their sound, sharpened their lyrics, and diversified their melodies. It's an entirely fantastic album. One of the very best of 2003.
  18. 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 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.
  19. 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 My Office, Baby" are all pop gems with no shortage of great melodies or hilariously ironic lyrics.
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. Although Trev gives Stuart Murdoch's songs a freshness and clarity that is entirely complimentary, the decision to unleash a flurry of TV melodrama string arrangements or flashy showbiz brass on half the songs leads to results that range from tolerable over-egging at best and annoying inanity at worst.
  2. Horn turns in the best work of his career, giving DCW a collection of sounds so potent and invigorating that the album may be Belle & Sebastian's Revolver.
  3. 83
    The swollen, baroque-pop arrangements... may ruffle the band's more delicate followers. But the songs are always smart, and it's the music-librarian's humor that helps keep things from slipping into the maudlin. [Nov 2003, p.109]