Belle & Sebastian - How to Solve Our Human Problems (Part 2)
Belle & Sebastian
How to Solve Our Human Problems (Part 2)
How to Solve Our Human Problems (Part 2) is the second installment in Bell & Sebastian's projected group of mini albums and far from keeping with the original tones of the first EP this one feels a bit bolder and more bombastic. "Show Me the Sun" opens the record with this high paces sun drenched summer of a song reminding you of sunnier days. On this EP, Belle & Sebastian feel older, but not dated, just more road worn with something to say. The albums best track "I'll Be Your Pilot" features lead singer Stuart Murdoch sings to his son about the perils of growing up, trying to be a parent and how fucked up this world really is. Murdoch purposes He be your pilot and guide you through this madness is that is even possible anymore. Belle & Sebastian have clearly changed with age, less emphasis is put of the ethereal and pastel vibes of the world and more is put into trying to figure things out. This record also feels more direct, less flowery than most of their other albums including the last EP. That has always been the knock against Belle & Sebastian, they can find something great but then they have to beat you to death with it. However on this EP they keep things tight rarely lingering on one line of music or the other. One song over five minutes is a real damn accomplishment for these guys so there is in fact a big reason to celebrate.
"Cornflakes" however falls back into some of their normal tricks, with this odd completely over crowded production. My major complaint about Belle & Sebastian has always been their very twee sound and this is the one track on the record that really digs in on that sound. It ends up sounding like a real mess with synths layered on top of horns which are layered on top of any other instrument they could find. "A Plague On Other Boys" the albums closer weaves a tail of a college boy falling in love with a college girl, never getting the time of day with her and then not getting over it for another 10 years. It's a bit obsessive plus Belle & Sebastian's almost waltz style instrumentation feels like it's a ditty from medieval times. This is where Belle & Sebastian drive me insane. They were so close to something, but then throwing in this ridiculous song is totally par for the course for them. This EP is a little better than the last, but still this long drawn out release process only proves how much of your time they want you to commit to them. It's self serving and does nothing to further this record or any of the others.
5.3 out of 10