Belle & Sebastian has this habit that I love. All of the songs on their EPs are completely exclusive. All of them are non-album tracks, not just the B-sides. This feeds hungry Belle & Sebastian fans with a great musical snack between album meals.
But, the Legal Man EP is better than your average cookie break. If all of their other EPs were generic store-brand chocolate chip, Legal Man would be homemade chocolate chunk and macadamia nut-filled Martha Stewart creations. Yet, there’s little on this CD to clue you in that this is really Belle & Sebastian. Sure the name on the front of the CD gives it away, but stick it in the player and it’ll have you wondering whether you’ve got the right disc. It doesn’t carry the melodic downers, the delicate depressives that so many of their other songs tend to hold onto. Not to say that’s a bad thing.
“Legal Man” is HIGH ENERGY, with capital letters. Plucked right out of a psychedelic ‘60s love-in, it bubbles “L-O-V-E”—love. It’s comin’ back, it’s comin’ back,” complete with cool kitsch organ and conga drums.
Instrumenal track “Judy is a Dick Slap,” is just as fun, inspiring a nice summertime jaunt or two—although, this is a song I hoped would have words, given the absurd title. The second half of “Judy…” is more in line with the Belle & Sebastian we all know and love using watery electronic piano in a much mellower vein.
On “Winter Wooskie,” Stuart David sings as beautifully as he ever has. David quit the band to focus on his own band, Looper, since the production of this EP and the band’s new album. This song makes you wish he hadn’t given up on the Belle & Sebs just yet.
“Legal Man” urges you to “Get out of the city and into the sunshine / Get out of the office and into the springtime.” And I urge you to get out of your house and into the record store to grab your copy of Legal Man.
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// Notes from the Road
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