Just when they seemed sure to fade away into twee-pop irrelevance, this obscure Scottish indie-pop act releases their strongest album in seven years. With lots of help from uber-commercial producer Trevor Horn (ABC, Yes, Pet Shop Boys, t.A.T.u.), singer-songwriter Stuart Murdoch finally gets back to leading his band. It was a nice idea to have everyone else share the vocal spotlight on Fold Your Hands and Storytelling, but wasn't Murdoch's delicate voice so much of what made us all fall in love with the band in the first place? Clearly, Horn understands this, just as he understands that the preciously lo-fi sound had to go. Horn brings every instrument into a crystal-clear, lovingly retro, Top of the Pops clarity. It's their most diverse album by far, from the marching, uptempo(!) drums on "Step Into My Office Baby" (which sounds like Melanie meets Adam and the Ants) to the fractured, New Wave-organ-driven "Stay Loose" (the close as B&S has come to Talking Heads territory). What a nice surprise.An eclectic mix of the soulful and the sublime, something of a departure for the band. Unlike their last record, the amazing Boy with the Arab Strap, the songs here are not instantly recognizable, but more subtle. The hooks don't automatically grab; instead, the songs' intent is to break you down, seeping into your bloodstream and working on you from the inside out like an infection.