Whenever a record with cartoon animals on the cover starts with a song called “Be Gentle With Me,” you usually know what you’re in store for. Chamber pop to the extreme, The Boy Least Likely To’s “The Best Party Ever” simultaneously enthralls and nauseates with its candy-coated, feel-pretty-good mood. It’s a record that Belle & Sebastian could’ve made eight or nine years ago, which could basically be viewed as the best thing in the world or the worst thing imaginable. The ambition is nice—plenty of xylophones, strange double-vocals and keyboards, plus the line “I’m happy because I’m stupid.” Like Beulah, but without the bad attitude, The Boy Least Likely To reaches gorgeous pop perfection a few times, like on the chorus of “Paper Cuts,” friendly and shameless with its cheesy keyboard leads. Not recommended for those who think joy and exultation are overrated. (Tom Lynch)
June 9 at Schubas.