Belle and Sebastian - The Third Eye Centre

The Third Eye Centre... A broader look

Review: Belle and Sebastian – The Third Eye Centre

Published on September 3rd, 2013 | Jonny Abrams

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The Third Eye Centre is a collection of Belle and Sebastian B-sides from their Rough Trade years (2003-2013), a broader view of their less-celebrated yet still creatively fertile latter-day career.

Things start gloriously with The Avalanches’ flute-topped remix of joyous Dear Catastrophe Waitress cut “I’m a Cuckoo”, leaving Rocksucker to wonder a) where the hell are Avalanches, anyway? and b) would they by any chance fancy doing a whole album with B&S?

Joys come thick and fast, not least the psychedelic bossa nova cruise of “Love on the March”, the blissed-out sway of “Long Black Scarf”, the bouncy Ray Davies odd-pop of “Last Trip”, and the countrified fun of “Stop, Look and Listen”, itself reminiscent of a mid-to-late-’60s Kinks outtake (resoundingly a good thing, in case you were wondering).

There are more unexpected pleasures too, like surf instrumental “Passion Fruit” and the calypso-punk blast of “Mr Richard”. Miaoux Miaoux’s remix of “Your Cover’s Blown” is pretty ace too, a disco stomp buzzing with synth bass which then makes a sudden beeline for pulsing electro.

Less successful – or more, depending on your point of view – is Richard X’s rendering of “I Didn’t See It Coming”, which winds up sounding unnervingly like some ’80s disco pop cheese-fest.

Aside from its superb title, the kind-of-dubby skank of “The Eighth Station of the Cross Kebab House” is also blessed with some truly winning lyrics, climaxing with the Half-Man-Half-Biscuit-tastic* “He listens to hip hop in Gaza / She listens to Coldplay in Lod”.

(* At least in isolation, it is – the song is in fact taken from War Child’s Help!: A Day in the Life compilation, and as such would presumably have a degree of seriousness about it.)

Chuck in the ‘solo Lennon’-ish “Meat and Potatoes” and you’ve got yourself a splendid set of songs there, mister. In fact, The Third Eye Centre makes for a tidy Belle and Sebastian album in its own right.

The Third Eye Centre is out now on Rough Trade.

You can buy The Third Eye Centre on iTunes and on Amazon.

Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.