October 7, 2003
After several albums of top-notch twee preciousness, Belle and Sebastian became positively optimistic and energized on this album. The flute and cash register notes that kick off the record lead into a "Step Into My Office, Baby," a song that could fit into the montage of a kicky '60s movie, and the rest of the album just accelerates from there. The dour clouds have lifted and the sun shines on this bright and unexpected record.
- Zac Johnson
Never simply poppy nor completely arty, and definitely not just the Jesus and Mary Chain/Cocteau Twins fusion most claimed they were, A.R. Kane here feels playful, mysterious, and inventive all at once, impossible to truly pin down. The best one-two punch on the record comes from "Sulliday," with buried, measured percussion and evocative drones, and "Dizzy," featuring a mesmerizing call-and-response by Rudi with himself, veering between more gentle, direct vocals and echoed shouts, eerily foretelling much of what Tricky would similarly do years later.
- Ned Raggett