Belle and Sebastian, ‘Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance’

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Aidin Vaziri | Even though Belle & Sebastian has experimented wildly over the past two decades, the Scottish group still can’t shake its reputation as a collective of acoustic guitar-strumming bookworms. That doesn’t stop the Glasgow band led by singer Stuart Murdoch from challenging expectations with its ninth studio album, “Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance.” With an unexpected surge of dance grooves and synthesizer swooshes, on the surface it hardly sounds like the work of the same outfit that came up with the folk-pop classic “If You’re Feeling Sinister.” But the lyrical wit, bittersweet melodies and sense of wonder are unmistakable in songs like “The Party Line” and “The Cat With the Cream.”

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