Home Read Classic Album Review: Belle & Sebastian | Sing Jonathan David

Classic Album Review: Belle & Sebastian | Sing Jonathan David

The Scottish folk-pop septet put their own unique spin on the David & Goliath saga.

This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


It’s all too easy to dismiss most bands’ CD singles — usually, they’re just album tracks padded out with remixes, live cuts, covers and (if you’re lucky) an unreleased B-side. But ignoring singles by Scottish folk-pop septet Belle & Sebastian is just plain foolish.

Not only do these songs seldom (if ever) appear on the band’s albums, they also contain some of the twee-pop geniuses’ most adventurous moments. Like, say, the title cut of this delightful three-track affair. The jaunty Jonathan David is a bouncy, jangly retelling of the David and Goliath saga, delivered in a voice and style straight from Ray Davies’ back pages. As are the two other tracks here: Take Your Carriage Clock and Shove It, an orch-pop tale of board-room breakdown; and The Loneliness of a Middle Distance Runner, a romantic lament with the best refrain of this week: “No one cares / Oh, you care, I know / I forgot for a while.” Ignore it at your own peril.