Did you ever listen to a band and then literally forget about them for maybe years, only to wake up one morning and go, 'hey, I really like this band.' Yeah that's me with Belle & Sebastian.
My wife has listened to Scotland's Belle & Sebastian (and this album especially) pretty much non-stop since forever. I was a late bloomer to Belle & Sebastian. The first three albums were my singular introduction (this album being the third of the trio, released in 1998). It was, at the time of its release their most popular and critically acclaimed album. Not that "critical acclaim" means squat in my book but you get the picture I'm painting here - this was really the album that put them on the international musical map.
The Boy With The Arab Strap is really the perfect display of the light yet orchestral indie pop that the band is famous for. Multiple group members take turn on lead vocals and although other bands would trip all over themselves attempting this, it works perfectly here. The lyrics are downright sinister at times, catching you off guard with their frankness (by the way an "arab strap" is a sexual device, look it up). The bands influences are worn out well here - The Smiths, 60's English pop, and various forms of folk music. Anyone who considers themselves a fan of indie rock/pop should absolutely own this album.