2. Dear Catastrophe Waitress (2003): Following the dismal Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant, change was clearly in order if Belle & Sebastian had any future at all. But what manner of change, and how to achieve it? Probably no one other than Murdoch himself thought the answer was to hire the largely mothballed founder of the Buggles, Trevor Horn (best known for his production work with Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Pet Shop Boys, and Seal). Whatever the calculation, the answer proved absolutely correct. On the band's funniest, most poignant releases, the production proves the perfect handmaiden to a set of songs in which Murdoch both reasserts creative control and also says goodbye to now-former member and love interest Isobel Campbell. The songs are brilliant. Lead track "Step Into My Office, Baby" is a catchy and wry take on placing a romantic come-on in a business-world setting. The antic title track commiserates with a struggling food service employee ("I'm sorry he hit you with a full can of Coke"), while never seeming too terribly put off by all of the injustice. But the centerpiece is one of Murdoch's greatest ballads, "Piazza, New York Catcher" -- a panoramic acoustic lament that somehow manages to bring together the excruciating pain of lost love with the exhaustion of a Major League Baseball season and a rational inquiry into the sexual preferences of Hall of Fame-bound catcher Mike Piazza. It is the kind of jaw-dropping work that only Murdoch and a few others are capable of pulling off.