Belle & Sebastian
Sing ... Jonathan David
(Jeepster/Matador OLE 510)

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when Belle & Sebastian started to get annoying, perhaps it was somewhere in the middle of The Boy With the Arab Strap. They've become like the friend of yours who stays in grad school too long, earning degree after degree in what increasingly seems like a ploy to avoid connecting with real life.

B&S got wayward for a good long while in the late 90s, but the Jonathan David EP got me back on board for a summer or so. Three songs, all in that vaguely baroque-pop 60s style that comprises the latter half of the Left Banke anthology. The title cut is both SUPER-cloying and supremely infectious; "Take Your Carriage Clock and Shove It" is prime Stuart Murdoch, though tempered by that slightly acrid sense of humor that's pervaded the band for quite some time now; "The Loneliness of a Middle Distance Runner" is a better title than song.

It's all well and good, but still you wish that Stuart Murdoch would just go ahead and write his "Everyday is Like Sunday" already. Or his "Back in Black," even better.

Review by Brad Cancer