Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance

Belle & Sebastian - Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance
Critic Score
Based on 40 reviews
2015 Ratings: #309 / 892
User Score
Based on 195 ratings
2015 Ratings: #469
Liked by 1 person
January 20, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
Matador / Label
Indie Pop / Genres
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Entertainment Weekly

His group’s ninth album further swells its sonic palette with electro-fuzz keyboards and postpunk rhythmic tricks, but Murdoch’s acute storytelling eye remains laser-focused.

The 405

Nine albums in Belle & Sebastian may have just achieved what many once thought impossible - they've reinvented themselves and perhaps in doing so, released one of the most important records of their career.

A.V. Club

Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance is the purest expression of the big, bright sounds that have always been within the band, visions of Belle & Sebastian as Naked-era Talking Heads or an ABBA for 2015.

The Skinny

Girls in Peacetime… is lovingly crafted, laced with embellishment and detail, and it’s full of unexpected twists

Time Out London

Like all of the band’s most recent albums, ‘Girls in Peacetime…’ contains a handful of gobsmackingly great songs and a lot of less inspiring material, varying from the teeth-grittingly quirky to the likeably dreamy and tender.

The Line of Best Fit

Whether or not Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance actually wins over new converts, it doesn’t detract from the fact that it’s one of the band’s finest achievements to date - exciting, experimental and yet - thanks to Allen’s sterling work - with a real sonic identity of its own.

Drowned in Sound
It’s an excellent album by a band who seem to be permanently brimming with life and ideas, a glimmer of warmth to lighten the dark depths of winter.

While it won’t sate those who yearn for a return to the fragile acoustic musings of Tigermilk, the band’s ninth album slowly emerges as one of their strongest to date.


This is the sound of a band that's growing fearless in middle age, and while the record occasionally does drag ... there's also a thrill hearing a band unafraid to stumble.


Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance is a multi-faceted triumph that puts the wind back in Belle & Sebastian’s sails.


Belle & Sebastian deliver their most textured, eclectic collection yet.

The Guardian

Most importantly though, this album retains the group’s old sense of humour


It’s the collective’s best since Dear Catastrophe Waitress, and sees off the potential chronic fatigue syndrome of being Belle & Sebastian for just a little too long.

NOW Magazine

Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance is their most rhythmically led album. It includes classic B&S torch songs but mainly doubles down on a bright and cheery European pop attitude that relishes every flourish and detail.

Pretty Much Amazing
Their ninth record demonstrates how they, much like the rest of us, have matured in order to adapt to our changing world, even if the products of that maturity are not always completely engaging.
It leaves the feeling that Belle And Sebastian are on the way to something new, even if they haven't quite landed on what it is yet.

Though it's far from perfect .. .Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance is a statement record that Belle and Sebastian are still expert songwriters, with more than a few musical cards left to play.

Slant Magazine

All of which is to say that Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance is less of a 180 turn than one might expect. Only a few songs fully commit to dance, and they're among the least convincing anyway.

No Ripcord

Concerns about blunted creative instincts should be dispelled by Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance, a well-crafted collection that is far more coherent than 2010’s Write About Love. This still doesn’t place the album among the group’s best, but it’s a move in the right direction.


Although not every effort and experiment on Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance is a fully realized one, Belle and Sebastian’s attempt to take on new challenges represents something more important than just the results on the album.

Tiny Mix Tapes

We’re now witnessing another major shift with Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, which uses the idea of dance and the space of the dance floor to explore a more expansive view of social life.

Belle and Sebastian's latest full-length succeeds in pointing out societal injustices with just enough sweetness to lighten the bitter frustration lurking within.
Loud and Quiet

Somewhere within ‘…Peacetime…’ is Belle & Sebastian’s best album this century, as they rediscover the natural charm that so seduced the early adopters.


Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance is far from the best Belle & Sebastian album, and it signals more a distraction for their sound than an evolution. Still, just as everything is with them, that distraction is both pleasant and polite.


Maybe this is the album to teach someone about fun. If not, it’s still a perfectly respectable hour of Northern soul-influenced pop, even if it’s difficult not to hear the intention behind every song. 

Under The Radar

Girls in Peacetime is the sound of a band striving for a new sound while holding on to old ideas

It’s exciting, but too all over the place to be one of their best.
Rolling Stone

Stick it out to the last few tracks and you'll hear the band's familiar marvels in a bright new light.


Since that reboot 12 years ago, they don’t really know what they want to be. So they try all things, and only succeed at some.

Consequence of Sound

Even with its stunning, heartfelt moments, it’s hard to think of Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance as a cohesive Belle and Sebastian album.

In trying for everything, they’ve highlighted the disjointedness of the end product, turning a fully-fledged transformation into an erratic collection of middling-to-great Belle & Sebastian songs.
Belle and Sebastian continue to do what they have done best for the past 17 years, make retro indie pop and somehow keep up with trends to stay relevant. Album opener "Nobody's Empire" shows their ability to stay true to the sound that got them where they are today with horns that throwback to their debut, Tigermilk. Later on, "Girls" transitions into what the title suggests. It becomes a synth/dance pop album that any awkward hipster could easily move to. Suddenly you are ... read more
Having left back their indie freshness, they wonder how to make the girls dance.
But is it peacetime?
There was precedent for B&S's embrace of Eurodisco stylings as far back as their now-classic debut 'Tigermilk' - see 'Electronic Renaissance'. Whether it works on this new album is going to be the biggest source of contention for your avergae-joe listener on the street. Sure, it's a bit naff in places, but this is the band's best since 2006's 'The Life Pursuit'; it's charming, welcoming, witty and sonically diverse.

Standout tracks: The Cat With The Cream, Nobody's Empire, Allie

Listen ... read more
Worth a listen
I like B&S, but this is "a late album" and there is a lot of competition fo rmy time. OK for driving.
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Track List

  1. Nobody's Empire
  2. Allie
  3. The Party Line
  4. The Power Of Three
  5. The Cat With The Cream
  6. Enter Sylvia Plath
  7. The Everlasting Muse
  8. Perfect Couples
  9. Ever Had A Little Faith?
  10. Play For Today
  11. The Book Of You
  12. Today (This Army's For Peace)
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Added on: September 29, 2014