After making seven albums, Belle and Sebastian made the most forceful record of their career with The Life Pursuit. Most people may think theyve got them pegged as fey cuties, but the band have cut the feet out from under everyone with a record of startling clarity, accomplishment and impact. 'The Life Pursuit' is nothing short of a revelation.
Decamped for the duration of recording to Los Angeles, Belle and Sebastian found the focus to fully realize what the late John Peel correctly identified as their surprising muscularity at Glastonbury. Of course, to those paying attention, it was always clear that in chief songwriter Stuart Murdoch we had a treasure in waiting. Perceptive, humane and hilarious, his writing has always had a voice as discernible as a Cocker or Morrissey, but perhaps the bushel obscuring it was a little more, uh, capacious. On The Life Pursuit this individuality seems to have reached its apotheosis of heartbreak and humor.
One of the chief pleasures of listening to this record is to follow the lives of Stuarts engaging cast of characters. You may never be quite sure whose voice it is you are listening to, but unlike, say, Morrissey, it would be a mistake to assume that it is always Stuart.
Belle and Sebastian pull in stuff from all over the place, so that Sly & the Family Stone/Funkadelic inflections (Song For Sunshine) sit side by side with the classic bubblegum riffs and call-and-response vocals of White Collar Boy; Bowie stylings of Sukie In the Graveyard; the glammy T-Rex of The Blues Are Still Blue; the prime-time miserablism of a Terry Hall (Mornington Crescent) and the irrepressible rousing piano drive of The Price Of A Cup Of Tea (which quotes fellow Glaswegian Bobby Gillespie in its opening line).
Includes limited time download coupon
"It Could Have Been A Brilliant Career" Obi Strip
Stuart Murdoch, vocals, guitar, piano
Stevie Jackson, guitar, vocals
Sarah Martin, vocals, violin
Chris Geddes, piano, keyboards
Richard Colburn, drums
Mick Cooke, trumpet, guitar, bass guitar
Bob Kildea, bass guitar, guitar
1. Act of the Apostle
2. Another Sunny Day
3. White Collar Boy
4. The Blues Are Still Blue
5. Dress Up In You
6. Sukie In the Graveyard
7. We Are The Sleepyheads
8. Song For Sunshine
9. Funny Little Frog
10. To Be Myself Completely
11. Act of the Apostle II
12. For The Price Of A Cup Of Tea
13. Mornington Crescent