Revisiting the Best Albums Project: “Expectations” by Belle & Sebastian from Tigermilk (1996)
My group of friends doesn’t generally read my blog and I’m not mad about that. But they recenly read my post announcing that I’ll be taking a break from my Best Albums Project and they were surprised I mentioned them – in that one I only mentioned Carolina actually – to which I answered: “Oh, I often talk about you!”. They were shocked and Julieta wanted to know in which post I had written about her, and I remembered this one of Belle & Sebastian.
As she was reading how I got to know that she liked them too, she told me: “I remember this moment so well!”. I remember it too; I can see her coming to my bench with her headphones on and singing “You’re on top of the world again!”. In that post, I wrote that julieta didn’t seem to be the kind of person who would like Belle & Sebastian, but actually, she’s exactly the kind of person who would like Belle & Sebastian.
“I can’t believe I used to take the headphones to school to listen to music during breaks. I was an antisocial!” she said. I don’t remember her being an antisocial, but if there’s something that we’ve all learnt about Julieta as we started to know her deeper is that not only she’s extremely insecure about herself – to the point in which, if you don’t know her well, you may think she is purposely exaggerating or joking with you –, but that she also likes having her own space.
In my old post, I wrote that Belle & Sebastian is “everyone’s unshared mutual secret”, and I still believe so. Their popularity still surprises me, especially because it seems to be an unknown popularity. And I remember reading the 33 1/3 on If You’re Feeling Sinister – here you can read my review of the book – and I think Scott Plagenhoef would agree with me. Back in the ‘90s, there was a kind of sect adoring Belle & Sebastian and while this sect may now have too many members in the opinion of Plagenhoef, there’s still that comfort in listening to them as a young person, in having your headphones on and being excluded form the world while Stuart Murdoch tells you that you will succeed, that you’re cool, and that you’re on top of the world again.