Belle and Sebastian - The Life Pursuit

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

You know, B&S have been around for a very long time now. So long, in fact, one can sometimes shamefully take them for granted and forget what a brilliant band they are. That is, until they release something as good as The Life Pursuit and you realise that quietly, with very little fanfare or fuss, B&S have become one of the UK's greatest bands. The Life Pursuit is the work of a group of musicians who have become masters of the entire lexicon of pop.

From the riff-crunching T. Rex-stacy of 'Suki in the Graveyard' to the Stevie Wonder smoothness of 'Song for Summer'; from the classic, carefree 60s pop of daffy first single 'Funny Little Frog' to the kitsch girl group harmonies and elemental rock guitar of groovy oddity 'We are the Sleepyheads', it feels as if nothing is beyond the group's eclectic reach here. It's also a very 'up' record, with none of the nostalgic, studied miserablism which sometimes marred early B&S records. From the first squelchy beat of opening track 'Act of the Apostle', this is a record content to simply celebrate the joys of a sunny day and a clear mind, in fact a couple of tracks (the giddy 'Another Sunny Day' and 'To Be Myself Completely') deal with those exact subjects. With a surfeit of hooks, and melodies so thick and juicy you need Gillian McKieth on hand to stop you gorging on bliss, this album brings a hit of summer with every listen and is good enough to elevate B&S to national treasure status. We're lucky to have them.

Best tracks: 'Suki in the Graveyard', 'We are the Sleepyheads', Song for Summer'

Richard Morris

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