Belle and Sebastian, 'How to Solve Our Human Problems' - Review
by Joachim Boane
After two decades, Belle and Sebastian have accumulated a wealth of sounds which has given their discography a sense of musical evolution from album to album without necessarily compromising a consistent and identifiable style. The three EP’s which make up How To Solve Our Human Problems have certainly embraced that evolution, epitomising a sense of reflection on this treasured past, whilst always delivered with sincere introversion.
Murdoch’s lyricism is as sweetly profound yet jauntily honest as always, and the music still holds that crucial ability to articulate both cheeky exuberance and crushing sobriety through their use of rhythmic motif and neatly crafted melody. However, over the course of 70 minutes, the outcome of the album is eclectic and saturated as genuine highlights are lost between many songs that simply sound like echoes from an earlier time in the band’s career.
The unavoidable issue is that this collection holds too much and achieves too little while trying to create a consistent experience through a full listening. From track to track How to Solve Our Human Problems can be considered a triumph, but it feels as though attempting to package these new ideas into a 2018 album was premature.