Belle and Sebastian - The Third Eye Centre
Eight years after the Push Barman ... collection, Belle and Sebastian gather together another set of b-sides, compilation tracks and other rarities, presumably to bring to a close what they might see as another chapter in their career. Whereas that first set included bonafide classic B&S tracks like 'Lazy Line Painter Jane', 'Jonathan David' and 'Beautiful', The Third Eye glimmers less brightly, drawing as it does from the less-feted The Life Pursuit and Write About Love years.
More than anything this feels much less cohesive than Push Barman ..., and more of a hotch-potch of disparate elements (The Shadows-y instrumental of 'Passion Fruit', a few Stevie Jackson numbers, the more Euro-pop and Easy tinged tracks that have been their meat-and-potatoes recently) which may not bother fans, but makes for a weaker listen for the less committed. The running order isn't helped by the inclusion of three (three!) remixes - including a previously unreleased version of 'Your Cover's Blown' by Miaoux Miaoux - which are, as is usually the case, listen once and file away affairs. 'Suicide Girl' is chirpy enough (although it re-confirms every joke you've ever heard about Stuart Murdoch) while 'Stop, Look and Listen' is the track The Monkees never got around to recording. Useful for fans then (although there's still a fair amount of material uncompiled) and a curio for everyone else.