THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
Album Review

God Help the Girl, ‘God Help the Girl’

July 13, 2009
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Indie Pop
God Help the Girl God Help the Girl
Matador
ESSENTIAL “Funny Little Frog’’

If the songwriter of any other band produced a solo collection of narratively linked songs for a hypothetical musical film with an entirely new cast of vocalists, you’d expect quite a departure. With Belle & Sebastian auteur Stuart Murdoch’s latest project, the shift barely registers. Here Murdoch employs a rotating cast of ringers from his Glaswegian orbit, including Neil Hannon of the Divine Comedy, members of B&S, a 45-piece orchestra, and most notably, a variety of newcomers who auditioned through an online competition. The star is Irish singer Catherine Ireton, whose lilting ennui flits seamlessly through Murdoch’s world of yearning urban dreamers confused in equal parts by sex, love, and religion. If most B&S records can be considered indie-pop, short-story collections, you might call this a bildungsroman in shorts. And while the pages of this musical story are dog-eared and familiar, as with any favored paperback, that’s just a testament to its continued readability. (Out now)

LUKE O’NEIL