The newest album from Belle & Sebastian, Push Barman to Open Old Wounds is comprised of 25 songs on two discs of previously recorded music. However, this is neither a Best Of nor a Greatest Hits album, with all of the tracks neat copies of the originals. It is more of a B-sides album, as most of the songs are different recordings or mixes of their better known brethren. One of the best examples of the different recordings is the second track on the album, â€šÃ„ÃºThe State I Am In.â€šÃ„Ã¹ The original version is clean with a distinct vocal harmony and instrumentals. On Barman, the instrumentals are altered, there is a minor in the vocal harmony, and the production is of a lesser quality.
Many of the songs are fairly well-known, like â€šÃ„ÃºLe Pastie De La Bourgeoisie,â€šÃ„Ã¹ In addition, almost all of their albums are represented. It is a wide variety of signature Belle & Sebastian style, encompassing almost every era of their vintage design. For example, their sweet melodies blended with the â€šÃ„Ãºlargeâ€šÃ„Ã¹ sound of an orchestra are represented by â€šÃ„ÃºTake Your Carriage Clock And Shove Itâ€šÃ„Ã¹ whilst their very Beatles-ish influence with the metronome pulsing keyboards and light-hearted lyrics is prominently displayed in â€šÃ„ÃºI Love My Car.â€šÃ„Ã¹
This is a great addition to any Belle & Sebastian fanâ€šÃ„Ã´s collection, though anyone not an avid aficionado may not find it appealing. The production isnâ€šÃ„Ã´t as tidy as most current albums and the style ranges all over from electronic to classic rock. However, anyone who wants to experience a taste and get an idea of what B&S is capable of should definitely pick it up.