Belle & Sebastian – The Life Pursuit
This is an album to challenge the position Tigermilk holds (or ought to hold – I’m sorry if you think If You’re Feeling Sinister is their best – you’re wrong) as your favourite B&S album. I realize that I’m talking exclusively to people who already love Belle and Sebastian, but that’s kind of my point – if you don’t like them then this album is not going to change your mind. This is the most Belle and Sebastian Belle and Sebastian album yet. Everything you adore about B&S is here in even greater abundance: the twee bubblegum tunes, the call and response choruses, the arch and knowing lyrics that disguise their venom in velvet-gloved pop perfection. At the same time there’s a new willingness to experiment with funk, blues and even a little glam-rock, while somehow twisting it all into something that couldn’t come from any other band. ‘White Collar Boy’ is B&S at their best, a nasty little tale- of suburban boredom and crime backed by Kinks-esque choruses and fuzz. ‘The Blues are Still Blue’ and ‘Suki In The Graveyard’ see Stuart toy with Bowie’s voice and blues-glam Aladdin-era guitar, while ‘Dress Up In You’ hides lyrical desperation and hatred behind a sweet piano and trumpet-assisted melody. Belle and Sebastian are a band who inspire fanatical fandom and there’s no hiding the fact I am a fan, so all I can say is go and listen for yourself. If they don’t have you grinning like a twit, you have a concrete heart.