As pop pairings go, it looked like a very unlikely marriage. In one corner, the cult Scottish indie stars Belle and Sebastian, famed for their hatred of celebrity and songs of wispy beauty. In the other, Trevor Horn, the producer of such out and out pop stars as Tatu, Seal and Dollar. Against all the odds, however, the combination has worked a treat - Dear Catastrophe Waitress is a genuinely lovely album, and a very welcome return to form for a band who were beginning to look as if they'd never fulfil their early promise. Against a lavish backdrop of lush guitars and opulent strings, the band conjure up a series of wicked character sketches from the office lothario to the bullied schoolboy, each combining human sympathy with a drop of lyrical poison. And now that B&S have finally found a way to accommodate the multiple songwriting talent within the group, the future suddenly looks bright again. Just one complaint - can't they do something about the silly album titles?