• Record Label: Parasol
  • Release Date: Sep 5, 2000

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. "Unsound" is their most clearly irresistible ever, and the aural nimbi that surround or trail after the others never obscure Van Dyk's lines of thought.
  2. Not only does every song here work beautifully on its own, but the recording listens cohesively front to back, from the frosty chime of "Unsound" to the enchanting blues of the closing "Healer."
  3. PJ Harvey's frequent collaborator John Parish produces, and he brings a dark, melodramatic, and very theatrical sensibility to the songs that is much more interesting--and a much more flattering setting for Carol Van Dyk's expressive but limited vocals--than the straightforward guitar churn that dominated the last couple of albums.
  4. Credit much of the album's dusky allure to the atmospheric production of John Parish, which lends a shadowy beauty, revealing new layers of subtlety lurking underneath the band's ragged guitar-pop approach; the focal point is still Van Dijk's searing vocals, which harness the extremes of both pride and desperation to devastating effect.
  5. Magnet
    The potential is here for Bettie Serveert to be marvelous.... But [singer Carol] Van Dijk's always-ominous lyricism, her need to play variations on the fallen and fallow, leaver her warm, tentative voice too vulnerable, too nervously open, too much like a desperate character among the bones of Lou Reed's once-famous dead. [#47, p.86]
  6. Private Suit finds them more in command of their craft, filled with less fury, but no less skilled at crafting sublime pop ditties.... Though there are a couple of misfires, it's their most confident effort since their debut.
  7. Private Suit shows the band taking some risks. They continue to write catchy and cute guitar rock songs, but also experiment with backing vocals and strings, a noble ambition that raises the bar higher than "the little band that could" is able to reach.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 2 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. FrankY.
    Sep 19, 2001
    This is the sound of the Betties all grown up, and a wonderful sound it is. Rich and complex, a very rewarding listen.