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'Swansong For You' is a 2001 LP from The Gentle Waves, the 'solo' project of Belle and Sebastian's Isobel Campbell. Like the first album, 'Green Fields Of Foreverland', most of the members of Belle and Sebastian play here; but this time a total of twenty-two other musicians play on the songs, providing a rich string section and complex instrumentation all round.

Bel sings these songs of hope, depression and wasted love in her soft, mellifluous way, timid voice surprisingly powerful against the backdrop of near-orchestral soundscapes on songs like the opening 'Let The Good Times Begin'. Elsewhere she carries the quirky, funky 'Sisterwoman' expertly.

It took me several listenings to decide that I really like all the songs on this album. While the first half appealed straight away, with the strange, gloomy and breathlessly-spoken 'Partner In Crime' and the rather folksy, commiseratory 'Loretta Young' as well as the songs mentioned above, I had misgivings about the slower second half, which some might say veers dangerously close to twee. But I've come round to it now. This is a great album, as long as you don't find the combination of Bel's sugary vocal style with incessant gloominess too hard to take.

Full track listing:
  1. Let the Good Times begin
  2. Partner in Crime
  3. Falling from Grace
  4. Loretta Young
  5. Sisterwoman
  6. Solace for Pain
  7. Flood
  8. Pretty Things
  9. There is no greater Gold
  10. There was Magic, then...