God Help the Girl, 'God Help the Girl' (Matador)

Critical Mass
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by Josh Modell

God Help the Girl feels like one of those projects Prince masterminded in the '80s, except here the diminutive wizard behind the female­fronted concept album is Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch. Unsurprisingly, Girl sounds like B&S sung by ladies (the heretofore unknown Catherine Ireton, plus a couple of singers auditioned via the Web). Murdoch pipes up now and again, but he's mostly content to play puppet master in his own lush­pop cabaret and revel in the fact that he only has to write and produce these brilliantly classic­sounding songs, and not warble them.

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