Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Their most intricate release to date: a breathtaking tapestry filled with more horns, string flourishes and beguiling melodies than a romantic heart can bear. [#26, p.50]
  2. In a larger sense, the shock is that Belle and Sebastian have grown out of their awkward adolescence. And they sound all the more interesting for having done so in full view of their fans.
  3. It makes good on Belle And Sebastian's urge for diversity while sticking to the transcendent pop that made its name.
  4. There's creepiness all over Fold Your Hands, from the deceptively sweet kiss-off "Don't Leave the Light on Baby" (RealAudio excerpt), and the raped narrator of "The Chalet Lines," to the self-conscious self-parody of "Nice Day for a Sulk"
  5. Ultimately, despite all its self-defeating limitations and annoying, fey affectations, this remains a superb record.
  6. 80
    Still, the faithful wonder if it's the same Belle and Sebastian that gave them such fey, storied gems as Tigermilk and If You're Feeling Sinister. They can breathe easy now.
  7. 80
    It glides along with the same humid grace that made 1997's If You're Feeling Sinister a bedsit classic.... wonderful, sweeping songs. [#46, p.68]
  8. This is by far their most polished and clean sounding album to date, as well as one that doesn't have the sort of immediately catchy tracks like on previous releases.
  9. Repeated spins also find this wonderful, soul-influenced collection to be one of slow, flowering appeal that ultimately ranks among the Glasgow septet's most rewarding efforts.
  10. Make no mistake, the vibe here is strange and quirky -- the band's affinity for the naïve sometimes makes for an odd listening experience. But once you've settled into it, Peasant reveals itself to be a thing of beauty -- its nakedness comes to seem like the most natural thing in the world.
  11. Belle and Sebastian now find themselves in the strange position of being neither naive nor fresh, and it shows on their awkward fourth album
  12. 70
    The record's nuances are divulged in layers and folds, through a latticework of instrumentation and, shockingly, some uncommonly good songwriting by band members other than Stuart Murdoch.
  13. Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant embellishes on the coyly lavish arrangements of 1998's The Boy With the Arab Strap without forgetting to flex real heart muscles.
  14. There are some good songs on here, I guess, but they're not as good as anything from If You're Feeling Sinister, or even The Boy with the Arab Strap. It's weird, because the songs definitely sound better, but the album is still kind of disappointing.
  15. Hand-clappable tunes and delicious cover design aside, sharp narrative-driven writing has been what saves the band from being merely annoying or silly or cute; too bad Fold Your Hands Child entirely abandons the vivid narrative vignette model.
  16. 60
    If some of 'Fold Your Hands' is marred by the curse of songwriting democracy and the faint sound of water being trodden,... at their best, Belle & Sebastian are still utterly unique, still utterly beguiling.
  17. The group's lack of growth has begun to make their well-established talents wear thin.
  18. Slow of tempo and devoid of the irony and insouciance that made Belle & Sebastian semi-famous among record store employees and their friends.
  19. On its fourth full-length adventure, Glaswegian septet Belle & Sebastian wanders away from their painfully catchy melodies with symphonic '70s-esque feather rock.
  20. Scottish pop whizzes Belle and Sebastian have finally found a way to rid themselves of their onerous rep as critics' darlings: They've made an album that isn't very good.
  21. The problem is that the album is perhaps too subtle for its own good, and even after repeated listens, it fails to connect on any meaningful level
  22. 50
    Given time, fans will warm to Peasant, but ultimately the inconsistency of it's songwriting is a tad disappointing.
  23. Belle & Sebastian's formula is beginning to see some wear.
  24. The album lacks the breathless show-stoppers that have long peppered their records.
  25. Begins the band's slide into sonic monotony and lyrical malaise.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Gianni
    Apr 24, 2008
    10
    I really love this album, it is my favourite by B&S. For some reason I never liked The Boy With The Arab Strap, whilst I like Tigermilk and I really love this album, it is my favourite by B&S. For some reason I never liked The Boy With The Arab Strap, whilst I like Tigermilk and love If You're Feeling Sinister (and I hate the last two albums they put out). This one simply has fantastic songs, such as I fought in a war, The model, Waiting for the moon to rise. The only bad one on here is The wrong girl, whose chorus I can't stand. Really underrated album IMO. Full Review »
  2. Dec 6, 2010
    10
    Barman is more varied. But for B&S at their most soothing, Fold your Hands is the best. Skip Beyond the Sunrise and enjoy. The last threeBarman is more varied. But for B&S at their most soothing, Fold your Hands is the best. Skip Beyond the Sunrise and enjoy. The last three tracks are wonderful. Full Review »
  3. GilbertMulroneycakesAndTheNews
    Dec 10, 2003
    8
    I LIKE Fold Your Hands Child. The title could have been better by just leaving out "You Walk Like A Peasant", but other than that...okay, I LIKE Fold Your Hands Child. The title could have been better by just leaving out "You Walk Like A Peasant", but other than that...okay, it's not B&S' best work in the whole wide world of sport - partly because it's so very subtle. Q Magazine have a point, it's got no gigantic, attention grabbing show tunes of the "Wandering Days Are Over" (or even the titular "Storytelling") kind. It prefers to come at the audience sideways, take them by surprise, and that's just terrific if they're already there, but it won't win them friends. What you get out of this album is equal to what you put in. I can only imagine this is deliberate - a little tweaking and Women's Realm or The Model could have done the job. Or they could have put in Legal Man as insurance. But evidently they didn't care about that, and fair play: some of their best work is on this record, from the haunting I Fought In A War to the exquisitely moving and disturbing "The Chalet Lines" - which happens to be one of my favourite songs, by the way, and I wish more people would talk about it, because it is to my ears so very great-yet-horrible that it really ought to live in history, or something - and the faux-cheery pop of Women's Realm. Though let's not forget the actually-cheery pop of Too Much Love or the startling recapitulation of seventies funk in Don't Leave The Light On Baby. Even if Stevie and Isobel's contributions aren't as good - not that that's something you can qualify in such a fashion - and The Wrong Girl and Nice Day For A Sulk come dangerously close to something B&S usually shy away from - filler material - it still works like gangbusters as a collection of songs, if not as a single work in its own right. B&S fans ought to start with Tigermilk though. Cos it's everything you want it to be?. Full Review »