Belle & Sebastian Continue To Tackle Internal Conflict In "How To Solve Our Human Problems (Part 2)"

Belle & Sebastian continue to tackle internal conflict in How To Solve Our Human Problems (Part 2), the second EP in a trilogy that features them tackling what haunts us all: the past. The story continues on in this EP, though perhaps somewhat less powerfully as the first record did.

There's a much more carefree vibe to How To Solve Our Human Problems (Part 2). Right from the get-go, 'Show Me The Sun' brings in some driven, forward looking energy. It's energetic, lively, and almost rebellious, ready to tackle whatever comes its way. 'I'll Be Your Pilot' has a bit more innocence to it with its light atmosphere and adventurous woodwind, the mood warm and unassuming. 'Cornflakes,' while a bit overbearing, has an old-school optimism about it that seems to take you back to a previous good time.

The thing is, there isn't much of an impact left by many of the songs. 'The Same Star' is reflective, bittersweet, and just downright pretty as Sarah Martin takes lead with her pure voice. The nice harmonies interject as if to act as moments that have come and passed as we move forward. Closing track 'A Plague On Other Boys' is a bit more free-form, its melodies flowing and silly, ending the EP off on a softer note, not unlike Part 1's 'Everything Is Now.' There seemed to be more rhyme and reason to every aspect of the former EP, however. The songs here capture moods, but don't seem to really envelop every sense of that mood as the former did.

Belle & Sebastian continue to tackle internal conflict in How To Solve Our Human Problems Part 2, carrying forward the narrative of the trilogy but failing to really capture the details of the emotions they sing of like they did in the first chapter of the series. It's carefree, energetic, and lively; but perhaps not purposeful enough for what they are trying to accomplish.

Favorite Track: The Same Star

Least Favorite Track: Cornflakes

Rating: 65 / 100

Stream or buy How To Solve Our Human Problems Part 2 on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist for new music: