15 Songs, 57 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In danger of backing themselves into an effete musical corner, Belle & Sebastian come out swinging for their sixth studio album. The Life Pursuit is an exciting and varied collection of tunes that highlights everything that made the Scottish combo so endearing with its 1996 debut Tigermilk along with the addition of more muscular glam rock and even lounge jazz. Stuart David and Isobel Campbell are long gone, but Stuart Murdoch takes the loss in stride and misses not a beat. “Dress Up in You” sports an ebullient trumpet line that recalls the Grass Roots’ “Bella Linda,” while “Sukie in the Graveyard” hustles past with the swagger and lyrical metrics of fellow Scot-songwriter Momus. “Another Sunny Day” jangles through the expected ‘60s kaleidoscope, whereas “White Collar Boy” cruises in with a playful bump ‘n’ grind worthy of prime T. Rex and the Kinks at their most class-conscious. And “The Blues Are Still Blue” is not a blues-based rocker but a frivolous piece of AM radio fluff that grooves like the Brady Bunch when they performed as the Silver Platters — and even sneaks a cowbell in there behind the cheesy electric guitar solo. Fun for everyone.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In danger of backing themselves into an effete musical corner, Belle & Sebastian come out swinging for their sixth studio album. The Life Pursuit is an exciting and varied collection of tunes that highlights everything that made the Scottish combo so endearing with its 1996 debut Tigermilk along with the addition of more muscular glam rock and even lounge jazz. Stuart David and Isobel Campbell are long gone, but Stuart Murdoch takes the loss in stride and misses not a beat. “Dress Up in You” sports an ebullient trumpet line that recalls the Grass Roots’ “Bella Linda,” while “Sukie in the Graveyard” hustles past with the swagger and lyrical metrics of fellow Scot-songwriter Momus. “Another Sunny Day” jangles through the expected ‘60s kaleidoscope, whereas “White Collar Boy” cruises in with a playful bump ‘n’ grind worthy of prime T. Rex and the Kinks at their most class-conscious. And “The Blues Are Still Blue” is not a blues-based rocker but a frivolous piece of AM radio fluff that grooves like the Brady Bunch when they performed as the Silver Platters — and even sneaks a cowbell in there behind the cheesy electric guitar solo. Fun for everyone.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.
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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
209 Ratings

209 Ratings

snowbot ,

Easily the Best Album of 2006

Before you read any further, click the "Buy Now" button. (Okay, now you can continue.) Not only is this album phenomenal, but it is an awesome price AND the last two songs are bonus tracks that are not included on the store-bought version of the album! If you like David Bowie, T. Rex, and The Smiths, you will love this, it is unlike any previous Belle & Sebastian album. Awesome!

tronador ,

This review says it all....

Oh to be free and frivolous, like Stuart Murdoch and his extensive cast of players as they engage The Life Pursuit. There's no "Take Your Carriage Clock and Shove It" or "Get Me Away from Here, I’m Dying" on this disc. Life has gotten easier, it seems, since Belle and Sebastian's early days. To boot, since 2003's Dear Catastrophe Waitress, the Belle cast has indulged a more 70s-era set of influences: Isn't that Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky" beat on the funny "White Collar Boy," a near sequel to "Step Into My Office, Baby"? And how about the T-Rex touch on the opening of "The Blues Are Still Blue"? No worries, Belle and Sebastian retain their gleam flawlessly. A jaunty lift is still in their step, a carefree abandon that charms even as it also reaches to the 70s for the funk-meets-psychedelia, "Song for Sunshine." It's bright and breezy throughout (the titles tell some of the story: "Another Sunny Day" and "Funny Little Frog"), with memorably decorous, familiar bouncing rhythms marking much of the album. The downtone "Dress Up in You" and "Mornington Crescent" are spare and lovely, wide-open in their pacing. All the same, "For the Price of a Cup of Tea," almost triggers a sing-along with just its name. --Andrew Bartlett

Crabbito ,

Remarkable

Another outstanding Belle and Sebastian CD. Too many good songs to list, but "We Are the Sleepyheads" is a stand out song, along with "Funny Little Frog" and "To Be Myself Completely" and "Another Sunny Day" I could go on, but go and check it out yourself.

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