Belle & Sebastian - How to Solve Our Human Problems (Part 3)
Belle & Sebastian
How to Solve Our Human Problems
The third and final installment of Belle & Sebastian's three part EP album isn't all that different from the first two and that is really the issue. Perhaps this three EP release was a way to maximize clicks on streaming services because separating them really doesn't make sense. The record opens with the disco twinged "Poor Boy" and tries to show you how to repair a broken heart through a boopy bounce beat. Everything feels lighter on this installment but the lyrics also take on a heavier tone. While the album goes out to solve Human problems, it ends up being more about digging into what cause these problems inside us all. Stuart Murdoch explored parenthood, death, and life on the previous EPs but here He dives into his own mind to try and figure out just what existence really means. It's all shoved through the Sepia-tone filter as is all their music which makes the heavy lyrics feel less important. "Everything is Now (Part Two)" tries to be this almost Polyphonic Spree level anthem, though less upbeat, and feels so self important that it looses whatever impact they were going for. This almost 60s style pop music sounds entirely pleasant, but no where near impactful or life chaning. On "There is an Everlasting Song" feels like it was ripped straight from Woodstock with this hippy aesthetic that just does not work at all.
It feels like the band are trying something new with this record rather than their usual Chaucer-esque writing style into a more pop centric sound, but god it feels like they've moved from the 1300's to the 1960's nut no further. I mean it is a step forward so that is great, but it's certainly not that far in terms of musical development. This whole thing would work so much better as a full album, but in this snip it style you are just left a bit confused and underwhelmed. It's easy to grasp this idea that Murdoch is growing older and trying to deal with those ideas in his writing, but the songs around them also have to move you in order to have the kind of impact He is looking for. Nothing on this record does that, nothing on the entire project does that, it's just another slightly less dated version of Belle & Sebastian. Perhaps its a bit of weariness writing this because after the first album you sort of get the point and you didn't need to wait months for this thing to roll out.
5.0 out of 10