Belle & Sebastian The Third Eye Centre
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- Released: August 27, 2013
- Label: Matador Records
- 1.I'm a Cuckoo [Avalanches Remix]
- 2.Suicide Girl
- 3.Love on the March
- 4.Last Trip
- 5.Your Secrets
- 6.Your Cover's Blown [Miaoux Miaoux Remix]
- 7.I Took a Long Hard Look
- 8.Heaven in the Afternoon
- 9.Long Black Scarf
- 10.The Eighth Station of the Cross Kebab House
- 11.I Didn't See It Coming [Richard X Mix]
- 12.(I Believe In) Travellin' Light
- 13.Stop, Look and Listen
- 14.Passion Fruit
- 15.Desperation Made a Fool of Me
- 16.Blue Eyes of a Millionaire
- 17.Mr. Richard
- 18.Meat and Potatoes
- 19.The Life Pursuit
Personnel: Sarah Swire, Laura Durrant, Joanne Pirrie, Freya Jeffs, Emily Jane Boyle, Chris Cowley (dancer).
Recording information: CAVA Sound Workshops, Glasgow; Parkgate Studios, Battle; Sarm Hook End; Sound Factory, Los Angeles, CA; Sunset sound.
As one of the intermittent non-LP clearing houses Belle & Sebastian occasionally release, The Third Eye Centre performs a useful service for dedicated fans while offering a roundly enjoyable B&S record for those who don't keep tallies of individual singles. Unlike Push Barman to Open Old Wounds, which rounded up the tight, purposeful EPs of the late '90s and singles of the early days of the new millennium, The Third Eye Centre plays a bit like a warehouse of B-sides. Some of this is due to the handful of remixes scattered throughout the 18-track album -- it opens with the Avalanches remix of "I'm a Cuckoo," and mixes of "Your Cover's Blown" and "I Didn't See It Coming" arrive later -- as they're within the band's aesthetic yet sonically different. Some of this is also due to Belle & Sebastian cannily crafting their finished albums; everything on 2006's The Life Pursuit and 2010's Write About Love fit perfectly, so what didn't show up on the albums were bound to be strays. And strays they are, as The Third Eye Centre proves, but nearly every individual song offers something worthwhile, whether it's the headlong, swinging rush of "Suicide Girl," the brightly-colored, bespangled blues of "Last Trip," or Stevie Jackson's melancholy ballad "I Took a Long Hard Look." Part of the pleasure is hearing B&S stretch into reggae ("The Eight Station of the Cross Kebab House") or jazz ("Long Black Scarf") or funky country rock ("(I Believe In) Travelin' Light") or frenetic new wave ("Mr. Richard") or swaying doo wop ("Meat and Potatoes"), as each element belongs within their sound; but individually, none of these songs would've fit their respective albums. Taken together, they're still a bit of a mess but the joy in The Third Eye Centre is that it presents Belle & Sebastian at their most human and ungainly. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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