The BBC Sessions

Fans of Belle and Sebastian's witty bookworm pop are an obsessive lot, and no doubt they'll snap up this cherry-picked collection of BBC recordings from 1996 to 2001. The draw for devotees is four rare songs from a 2001 session, including a hilarious fan letter to kindred indie-pop intellectuals the Go-Betweens ("Shoot the Sexual Athlete") and a kind of hushed farewell sung by Isobel Campbell, who left the group soon after ("Nothing in the Silence"). Otherwise, aside from a breezy glockenspiel revision of "Lazy Line Painter Jane," these versions are pretty close to the studio originals. But the selection is so good, the set doubles as a best-of — it's a fine intro to the group's tuneful world of lovelorn geekdom.