Belle and Sebastian “Write About Love” in New Album

Almost five years since Glasgow twee-pop band Belle and Sebastian released their seventh studio album, they have pushed themselves off the backburner and back into the limelight with Write About Love.

The album, quite unmistakably, is an ode to love itself. However, it nonchalantly avoids being a raging cliché, full of sweet nothings and flowers and rainbows.

The septet has developed a very polished, smart concept that still manages to be edgy and fun.

Rather than focusing on falling in love, the album focuses on growing in love: from friendship, to infatuation, to love, to heartbreak.

It acknowledges all of the many baby steps that are a huge part of love of any kind, and the fact that each step can change your life.

The major them was that love teaches you so many things in life, and can inspire you in so many ways – even at points when it walks away from you.

Belle and Sebastian’s sound itself hasn’t faltered; front man Stuart Murdoch continues to take center stage with his smooth vocals, and the drumline and guitar parts have the same heavy riffs that they have in the past.

What sets Write About Love apart from Belle and Sebastian’s other seven studio albums is how the band has flawlessly managed to pull inspiration from each of their previous releases.

There are moments throughout the album where you can cite similarities between it and any other album of theirs – but the sound is still so fresh.

After twelve years as a band, Belle and Sebastian has proved that age isn’t anything but a number, and that they can manage to keep getting better with time.

Taylor Swifts’ New Album Speaks Now

If you have never heard of Taylor Swift then you have clearly been living under a rock for the last several years.

This past Tuesday, Swifts third studio album “Speak Now” was released. This latest album is expected to be one of (if not the) highest grossing album of the year, and considering that Swift has sold over eight million albums this is not a far out idea.

“Speak Now” shows Swifts evolution from her teenage years, as well as her evolution musically. Swift’s previous albums were a heavy mix of country and pop, allowing her to move comfortably between the two genres and to gain mainstream success.

The new album, however, is very much a pop-rock album as opposed to Swift’s usual pop-country combination. The song, “Better than Revenge,” is a very fast paced, guitar-heavy, revenge song reminiscent of Paramore, as opposed to the country sweetheart Swift.

“Better than Revenge” isn’t the only song loaded with heavy guitar; songs like “Sparks Fly,” also features heavy percussion and electric guitar and less of the acoustics that Swift has made a name from.

The new pop-rock sounds, coupled with Swift’s voice and jaunty and sometimes scathing lyrics, lead to a unique sound for the 20 year old.

The album’s title track, “Speak Now,” is actually one of the less enjoyable songs on the album. While it is still listenable, the song’s lyrical placement is not on par with some of the other wonderfully composed songs found on the album.

The song itself-basically about asking someone to leave his bride at the altar- is trite when compared to emotional gripping songs like, “Back to December,” that litter Swift’s album. The song itself is not well written and lacks the flow quality found throughout the album.

The tune itself is catchy, but as a whole it is generally one that can be fast-forwarded.

The best song on the album was the very first single released by Swift. “Mine”- a song that seems to be about falling in love- has everything a good Taylor Swift song should. With a balladic story enclosed in a pop tune with a video reminiscent of “The Notebook,” “Mine” manages to encapsulate everything that Swift seems to be saying with “Speak Now.”

While the album probably will not make a Taylor Swift fan out of anyone who is not a young female, the album itself is a wonderful collection of songs about growing up and moving in and out of love, something that Swift writes about like a pro.