Scott Plagenhoef's examination of If You're Feeling Sinister opens with a look at the aura of mystery and obfuscation around Belle & Sebastian and how this led to the creation of a thriving community of fans centered around the Sinister List. Plagenhoef has no wish to destroy Belle & Sebastian's mystique - as a fan, he understands that part of their appeal lies in their inscrutability. Instead, he explains how the cultural milieu of the mid to late 90s allowed the band to find its own idiosyncratic identity. AudioFile Earphones Award recipient Kevin T. Collins' effortless performance and likeable voice highlight the wistful nostalgia of the band's early beginnings.
If You're Feeling Sinister shows how Belle & Sebastian transformed themselves over the space of a decade from a slightly shambolic cult secret into a polished, highly entertaining, mainstream pop group. Along the way, the book shows how the internet has revolutionized how we discover new music - often at the cost of romance and mystery.
There are few long stories told about this band. It is a must for fans.
If you are not a fan, but a music fan, it also talks about the way Indie music has changed as a result of the internet, and in turn, the way anybody experiences and discovers music and bands now. Nostalgia or something lost? You decide.