Belle & Sebastian
Step Into My Office, Baby
(Rough Trade 83231)

Once upon a time, a new Belle & Sebastian EP would be a compulsory purchase, another short fix of perfectly tragic cuteness and a guaranteed delivery of more of those songs. But, like the cat who burned his hand on the branding iron (?), a few too many fuck-you releases left me mighty skeptical about anything this band might have to offer.

Even the pleasant surprise of a fine new album, one which I still listen to again and again, couldn't break down my conditioned expectation that a new B&S EP would once again scald my innocent hand. So I held off on Step Into My Office, Baby for many weeks.

But, like the pheasant who stole from the feedbag (?), at some point I had to give in to temptation and see whether the disc might offer more of B&S's newfound magic. Waitress was so damn good, I had to see if there'd be more.

Well, I can't say I burned my hand on this one, though my secret hopes for greatness were not met. "Office" makes for an admirably cheeky single , but it's easily my least favorite song on the album, and the b-sides are highly forgettable. "Love On the March" is fake samba-pop with tired "ba ba ba's" remaindered from every mid-90s loungecore dabbler, and no melody to speak of. "Desperation Made a Fool of Me" is a proper Stuart Murdoch song, with a couple of good chord changes, but it's unnecessary at this point. I thought I wanted more old-school B&S stuff, but apparently not really.

The disc does have the extremely sarcastic British sex farce of a video for "Office," and that's worth a look. One look.

I guess you sometimes can always get what you want, but what you don't know is, you don't actually want it, like the bird-man who flew too high and froze his ass off. (?)

Hm, I suddenly wish my parents had read me actual fables as a child instead of just improvising them every night. Hope it was worth it to them to have saved the fucking two dollars it would have cost to get a goddamned Golden Book.

Review by Gardyloo Gully