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.

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.

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