Ring My Belle

The following was sent in by an "anonymous" reader regarding my dismissal of Belle and Sebastian as "twee". I'll warn you, this gets ugly:

Your entire argument against Belle and Sebastian so far is that you don't like twee pop. I reject that statement based on the following statements:

1. "I like this music... This is legitimately good." - From your review of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.

2. "This is a good album and I think as far as indie pop goes, it's better than most." - Your review of Camera Obscura.

Neither of those reviews were gushing with praise, but neither were they dismissed for being unabashedly twee. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart come replete with jangly guitars and tales of young, brooding lovers. Tracyanne would be just at home singing "A Teenager in Love" as she would "French Navy". Maybe it's the hazy, lo-fi aesthetics of Pains that lets you think it isn't twee?

I am confused by what you mean when you say "twee" and "indie pop" (which is the genre you chose to place Camera Obscura in). What makes Belle and Sebastian twee while Camera Obscura is indie pop? Is there a distinction in your mind? Camera Obscura sounds much more like twee progenitors Heavenly in instrumentation and lyrics than B&S do.

I won't deny Belle and Sebastian have twee elements and don't mind them being placed in that category. I believe however that your dismissal of B&S simply for being twee is a cop out at best and disingenuous at worst. So I have to believe you either (a) have a more substantial and serious argument against B&S that you have chosen not to go into (b) really have not listened to very much Belle and Sebastian to have a more informed opinion or (c) have a visceral dislike of the band that can't be put into words.