God Help The Girl

  • Record Label: Matador
  • Release Date: Jun 23, 2009
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Ireton’s vocals grow more appealing with each listen, as does the album. Murdoch has created such a lush, cinematic world here that turning Girl into a movie almost feels redundant.
  2. If most B&S records can be considered indie-pop, short-story collections, you might call this a bildungsroman in shorts. And while the pages of this musical story are dog-eared and familiar, as with any favored paperback, that’s just a testament to its continued readability.
  3. God Help the Girl, old-fashioned and without artifice though it may be, is supremely welcoming. Its charm--and those tunes!--are likely to make it an album you find yourself returning to, again and again, for the simple joy of listening to it.
  4. Virtually every song could fit on to a Belle and Sebastian album. None of which is to suggest it isn't good: the tunes are uniformly fantastic and the arrangements are charming.
  5. Mojo
    80
    God Help The Girl has real class. [Jul 2009, p.99]
  6. Uncut
    80
    It is the clan's most successful production since 1996's "If You're Feeling Sinister." [Jul 2009, p.88]
  7. Save for a handful of forgettable excursions into tampering with a perfectly good formula, it’s a very well-written, cohesive collection of songs.
  8. The musical doesn't begin production until 2010. The time lapse is confusing for listeners of the narrative, which focuses on a young woman named Eve. But Murdoch, who lends his vocals to two of the album's 14 tracks, plays his strengths as the man behind the music.
  9. A highly polished 50s-girl-group sound prevails, bringing out production values that verge on cheesy but also string and vocal arrangements that are impressively, bombastically Bacharach.
  10. While there are fewer barbs and the atmosphere is less filigreed, as with Belle & Sebastian , you’re either down with the twee or not. Tuneful as this is, it’s hard to write it off without feeling like a rockist grinch.
  11. Murdoch's new muse, Catherine Ireton, lends her ingenue vocals to nearly every track,? and while her style seems better suited to the stage, the album dips and? twirls along, like some lost '60s musical excavated from its sweet celluloid slumber.
  12. God Help the Girl is a spirited expansion of some of Murdoch's best ideas, but until the film finishes shooting--set to start next year--we'll probably just have wild-ass guesses like mine as to the real story.
  13. 70
    Murdoch pipes up now and again, but he's mostly content to play puppet master in his own lush­pop cabaret and revel in the fact that he only has to write and produce these brilliantly classic­ sounding songs, and not warble them.
  14. It just simply seems that Stuart Murdoch isn’t a very portable songwriter: he may be able to write Stuart Murdoch songs for Stuart Murdoch, but translated to anything but his music frequently exhibits its participants’ weaknesses, and the end result is unsettling and unfulfilling like few Belle and Sebastian products are.
  15. God Help the Girl should probably just be viewed as a flawed work or a semi-successful adventure by a solo artist who needs his band to be truly great.
  16. Pretty but inessential, God Help The Girl may make more sense when the film is finally delivered next year. Up until then this is largely of interest to Belle & Sebastian completists.
  17. This remains, however, a good album, and another triumph for Stuart Murdoch.
  18. Under The Radar
    50
    For now, this ambitious album sadly slots into the "for completists only" compartment of Murdoch's nearly unimpeachable discography. [Summer 2009, p.66]
  19. Ireton’s voice has an unschooled grace which elevates ‘Hiding Neath My Umbrella’ to the status of an interesting, if flimsy, curio in Murdoch’s canon. It’s just a shame the rest of the record, and the new recruits, are so fucking woeful.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Sep 5, 2014
    9
    Super fabulous music!! A few of the songs are so catchy and poignant it's crazy. Maybe I am a twee maniac, but I feel everyone should findSuper fabulous music!! A few of the songs are so catchy and poignant it's crazy. Maybe I am a twee maniac, but I feel everyone should find these songs fun and pretty. Full Review »
  2. Apr 24, 2013
    9
    I listen to this album. It never gets old. In fact, in my rather large library it is probably the album played the most in recent times. II listen to this album. It never gets old. In fact, in my rather large library it is probably the album played the most in recent times. I am hesitant about the promised film if only because I fear it might not live up to the images I have created in my own head. But I will watch when it comes out. Full Review »
  3. Oct 15, 2010
    10
    This is a fabulous album containing beautiful pop songs. It's not a 'flawed work' at all but a fully realised work that sounds hauntinglyThis is a fabulous album containing beautiful pop songs. It's not a 'flawed work' at all but a fully realised work that sounds hauntingly familiar yet new simultaneously. I can't recommend it highly enough and it's rarely been off my CD player since I bought it. I would like to hear much more from Mr Murdoch and his collaborators. Full Review »