News and Notes
If You're Feeling Sinister
This album made almost everyone's top-ten list last year, ending up at #8 on the Village Voice's Pazz & Jop Poll. I'm not going to buck the trend: With Sinister, the enigmatic Scottish band (with no Belle or Sebastian in the lineup) has produced ten shimmering, melancholy pop lozenges that melt in your mind, not in your headphones. You'd be hard-pressed to find a sweeter batch of sad songs this side of The Smiths' Hatful of Hollow. Naming breakout tracks would be silly, since the collection is stellar top to bottom, but if my arm is twisted, I'll admit that my favorite is "The Fox in the Snow."