Belle and Sebastian: Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance

Scottish indie-pop vets go to the club, stretch a little too far

Credit: Søren Solkær

"Jump! To the beat of a party line," Stuart Murdoch sings over Pet Shop Boys-ish synths on the lead single from Belle and Sebastian's ninth LP. Like many songs here, "The Party Line" pairs vaguely political lyrics with vaguely clubby music – an unusual combination for this band, and one that doesn't always work. (See the gimmicky EDM-lite track called "Enter Sylvia Plath.") Thankfully, there are also a handful of inventive standouts like "The Book of You," where B&S shape electronic music around their strengths, rather than vice versa. Stick it out to the last few tracks and you'll hear the band's familiar marvels in a bright new light.