Daily Song Study

Belle and Sebastian – Me and the Major

In songs on November 30, 2011 at 11:15 am

The art-pop collective known as Belle & Sebastian is a good example of doing retro right. Drawing heavily from folk-pop groups of the ’60s, particularly English ones (although the band is Scottish), they add modern elements like synthesizers and bitingly sarcastic lyrics that would have been rather out of place back then. They also evoke a cinematic sort of sound, much like Bookends-era Simon & Garfunkel, providing a sense that there is some invisible movie playing with this as the soundtrack.

Certainly frontman Stuart Murdoch is not nearly as polished vocally as Paul & Arty, but he is excellent at delivering harsh words with a delicate lilt that makes them nicely insidious. In today’s tune, he describes an encounter with a stodgy old man. Though clearly irritated, Murdoch takes the time to see from the Major’s point of view, and having done so, lets the matter go and escapes into the snow.


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