Song of the Day #5,064: ‘Young and Stupid’ – Belle and Sebastian

Not too long ago, a new Belle and Sebastian album would have been cause for a massive celebration in these parts. I’ve counted the Scottish indie band among my very favorites since I first heard their music in the late 90s.

I was thrilled by all of the band’s (non-soundtrack) studio releases through 2015, when Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance dropped and continued their run of smart, sensitive baroque pop.

Since then, B&S has released a soundtrack album (Days of the Bagnold Summer) and a new collection, out this month, titled A Bit of Previous. And I’m sorry to report that both albums left me cold. I don’t hear any of the lyrical wit or musical ingenuity that drew me to the rest of their catalog.

Is Belle and Sebastian falling into the group of artists whose work no longer grabs me the way it once did? I’ve had a similar reaction to the latest releases by Elvis Costello, Aimee Mann, David Byrne, Counting Crows, Eminem, and Lucinda Williams, to name a half dozen acts I’ve loved for years.

I don’t know if the music has changed or if I have, but in all of those cases it felt strange to be so uninspired. And it feels that way again listening to the new Belle and Sebastian.

Today’s track, the album’s opener, is the only one that feels anything like the music of theirs I love, and it’s still a far cry from the best of it. Time will tell if this is an aberration or if I’ve moved into a phase where I’m a huge fan of only their older material.

[Verse 1]
I was yelling in my sleep
I was crying feeling weak
Do we have to feel this way
It wasn’t like this yesterday

[Chorus 1]
Everything is fine
When you’re young and stupid
Everything’s divine
When you’re young and stupid

[Verse 2]
There’s an easy start to things
There’s the thrill that beauty brings
Glued together at the hips
Stuck together at the lips

[Chorus 2]
Nature has the lead
When you’re young and stupid
Nurture will impede
When you’re young and stupid

[Verse 3]
Now we’re old with creaking bones
Some with partners some alone
Some with kids and some with dogs
Getting through the nightly slog

[Chorus 3]
Flashes in the mind
You were young and stupid
Keeps us warm at night
All our young and stupid

[Chorus 4]
Makes us feel delight
We were young and stupid
Makes you feel regret
When you’re young and stupid

You know I keep reminding myself that nothing matters
Nothing matters
You know sometimes you have a fight with someone
Or you get frustrated or-
You know something it’s happening and then you catch a little glimpse of the outside
And I don’t know, it’s just a bird flying or you see a funny shape in the clouds
And you think ‘what am I doing?’
You know, I’m so small, nothing- nothing matters
So whatever

One thought on “Song of the Day #5,064: ‘Young and Stupid’ – Belle and Sebastian

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I think what you are experiencing is quite common with artists who continue to record for decades after their best, most vital work was done. This is why, arguably, Billy Joel had the right idea to stop recording years ago, while his contemporaries like Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Sting, etc., continued to release new material that never measured up to their greatest albums. So, in short, it’s not you who has changed, it’s them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.