1. If You’re Feeling Sinister (1996): Tigermilk was good. Very good. But the first B&S release surely did not adequately prepare the world for the unimpeachable classic that followed. If You’re Feeling Sinister is one of the finest folk rock records ever made and is easily in the conversation with any record in any genre from the 1990s. Murdoch’s gimlet eye for the downtrodden and unacknowledged has never been more precise or telling than on classics like “The Fox In The Snow” and “Judy And The Dream of Horses.” Meanwhile, great pop tunes like “Me And The Major,” replete with generational resentment, and “Mayfly” are as catchy and intelligent as anything the band has ever done. Finally, the title track represents perhaps the greatest summation of Murdoch’s themes, as it relays case-by-case the predicaments of teens looking to the clergy for spiritual answers and finding themselves again and again left without useful counsel. A church-going man himself, Murdoch lays his frustration bare, stating, “If you’re feeling sinister go off and see a minister / chances are you’ll probably feel better if you stayed and played with yourself.” Amen.
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