God help The Girl - God Help The Girl Album Review
Glorious pop. Hooray !
Albums like God Help The Girl don't come along very often, so grab it.
This 'project', which has been going on for some five years, has been a complex business. Firstly, Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch needed a singer, so, as you do, you run a competition to find one, or more, online, and ads in papers and shops.
The result of this 'musical story' is quite stunning in as much it's what pop music has been missing for about a generation, or even two come to that. It seems to pick up the bits (and fill the gaps) of the halcyon days of pop in the sixties, that the 70s, 8os and 90s missed out on.
Murdoch eventually settled for nine different singers, all young ladies with potential glittering careers ahead of them, like Catherine Ireton in particular.
Also on board is The Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon who knows a thing or two about classy pop tunes, a 45 piece orchestra conducted by Rick Wentworth (Withnail & I fame) along with other Belle and Sebastian members.
Apart from the 60s Doris Day feel in places, this sumptuous album could fit nicely alongside your Tamla Motown, Beautiful South, Mamas and Papas and chamber-pop heroes Antony and The Johnsons, collections. Comparisons with the latter style can be heard on the string heavy Pretty Eve In The Tub.
Thrown into the mix is an all too short just over a minute jaunty instrumental A Unified Theory which Dave Brubeck fans will identify with.
The hippified ballad Hiding Neath My Umbrella , and a gorgeous one it is too, with swirling strings and ivory tinklings by Stevie Jackson, features the combined singing talents of Stuart Murdoch, Catherine Ireton and Celia Garcia, making it one of the stand out tracks here. Thing is, they're all so good.
This is followed by an exquisite cover of B&S's single Funny Little Frog, from 2006. Brittany Stallings' vocals are amazing.
Murdoch couldn't have chosen a better muse in Hannon who leads Perfect As A Hipster. The melody and girl harmonies by Ireton, Garcia and Alex Klobouk are reminiscent of the trick deployed by Wall-Of-Sound exponent Phil Spector.
Dipping into the West Coast sound, the honeyed Californian pop of I'll Have To Dance With Cassie draws heavily on the Mamas and Papas's universal appeal, with Ireton giving arguably her finest performance.
It's a tough call, honestly, choosing the best track because they're all well written and performed, but I'm compelled to say it's the John Barry-esque Come Monday Night that wins, hands down.
The verdict Ab Fab.
You may be interested in
- Fri 20th Oct 2017 to Thu 30th Nov 2017 The FallBuy Tickets
- Sat 21st Oct 2017 to Mon 4th Dec 2017 Henry PriestmanBuy Tickets
- Sat 21st Oct 2017 to Fri 27th Oct 2017 British Sea PowerBuy Tickets
- Fri 27th Oct 2017 to Sun 29th Oct 2017 Pantha Du PrinceBuy Tickets
- Mon 30th Oct 2017 to Thu 2nd Nov 2017 The Dream SyndicateBuy Tickets
- Sun 5th Nov 2017 and Wed 8th Nov 2017 Kathryn WilliamsBuy Tickets
- Wed 8th Nov 2017 to Tue 28th Nov 2017 Wolf AliceBuy Tickets
- Wed 8th Nov 2017 to Thu 16th Nov 2017 Eddi ReaderBuy Tickets
- Fri 10th Nov 2017 Emiliana TorriniO2 Shepherds Bush Empire (Shepherds Bush)Buy Tickets
- Sat 11th Nov 2017 British Sea Power, Field Music, Dutch Uncles, Boxed In, Marc...Albert Hall (Manchester)Buy Tickets
- Mon 13th Nov 2017 and Tue 14th Nov 2017 Benjamin BookerBuy Tickets
- Fri 17th Nov 2017 Jeb Loy NicholsFriends' Meeting House (Oxford)Buy Tickets
- Sun 19th Nov 2017 The Monochrome Set, Bill Pritchard: Tapete PresentsThe Lexington (Islington)More Info..
- Thu 23rd Nov 2017 to Tue 12th Dec 2017 Alasdair RobertsBuy Tickets
- Sun 26th Nov 2017 and Tue 28th Nov 2017 Sun Kil MoonBuy Tickets
- Wed 29th Nov 2017 Baxter DuryKOKO (Camden)Buy Tickets
- Sat 2nd Dec 2017 Cara DillonSt. Mary's Church (Lowdham)Buy Tickets
- Mon 4th Dec 2017 The VeilsIslington Assembly Hall [Town Hall] (Islington)Buy Tickets
- Thu 14th Dec 2017 The LibertinesEmpress Ballroom (Blackpool)Buy Tickets
- Sat 3rd Mar 2018 to Sat 12th May 2018 The Monochrome SetBuy Tickets
- Tue 6th Mar 2018 to Tue 27th Mar 2018 Belle and SebastianBuy Tickets
- Sun 18th Mar 2018 Southern Tenant Folk UnionThe Greystones (Sheffield)Buy Tickets
- Fri 6th Apr 2018 to Mon 16th Apr 2018 Arcade FireBuy Tickets