Artist – Album: Belle and Sebastian – The Life Pursuit
Released: 6th February 2006
Sounds Like: Belle and Sebastian in Groucho glasses and a fake moustache
For some bands, no matter how they dress their music up they will always sound like themselves. The Life Pursuit sees Belle and Sebastian really branch out and follow a multitude of musical whims, and yet always sound very Belle and Sebastian-y.
Stuart Murdoch, the band’s undisputed leader following the departures of Stuart David and Isobel Campbell an album earlier, experiments with everything from lounge jazz to country to Motown (without straying too far from their indie domicile). ‘The Blues Are Still Blue’ sounds like Roxy Music, ‘To Be Myself Completely’ reminded me of latter-day R.E.M and ‘Song for Sunshine’ is decidedly funky.
Two songs in particular stood out: ‘Dress Up In You’, a song I first heard on a free CD from the now sadly defunct music magazine The Word, has the gentle, bashful sound and witty lyrics of their earliest releases; ‘Funny Little Frog’ is more an indicator of how they have grown, a rocky, confident and deceptively straight forward love song, and their highest charting single in the UK, hitting #13.
Not all the experiments are completely successful and at times you miss the flow and completeness of their greatest records Tigermilk and If You’re Feeling Sinister. But this is still a good album.
Albumaday... rating: 6/10
1. Act of the Apostle – 2:55
2. Another Sunny Day – 4:04
3. White Collar Boy – 3:20
4. The Blues Are Still Blue – 4:08
5. Dress Up in You – 4:23
6. Sukie in the Graveyard – 3:00
7. We Are the Sleepyheads – 3:33
8. Song for Sunshine – 4:06
9. Funny Little Frog – 3:08
10. To Be Myself Completely – 3:17
11. Act of the Apostle II – 4:20
12. For the Price of a Cup of Tea – 3:19
13. Mornington Crescent – 5:40
Listen to ‘Funny Little Frog’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fT6pssrES8