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    • Bauhaus
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iTunes Music Review - The Life Pursuit

  • The Life Pursuit

    • 8 out of 5
    • Belle & Sebastian
    • Reviewed by Robyn Weisman
    • Buy this album from Amazon.com
    • Buy this album from iTunes Music Store
    • The Life Pursuit is a sort of Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. You get Belle & Sebastian's peanut butter (its wistful, often irresistible pop) dipped in a 'Have A Nice Day!' and glam 70s chocolate. Although I'm guessing that most Belle & Sebastian fans might not say it's the band's best record, it is certainly its most irrepressible and to my mind, its most fun.

      T. Rex's recent ascendancy is evident here, particularly in "White Collar Boy" and "The Blues Are Still Blue," the latter of which incorporates a cowbell in the chorus (and who doesn't enjoy a well-placed cowbell?). Songs like "Sukie in the Graveyard" sound like they could have been sung by the Partridge Family, although its lyrics (Sample: "She had a slut slave and his name was Dave/She said 'Be my photo bitch and I'll make you rich'") probably wouldn't have made it past the TV censors, methinks.

      "Another Sunny Day" and "Dress Up In You" have a more traditional Belle & Sebastian sound to them, although the former also sounds like early REM with its jangly guitar and a beat reminiscent of "Radio Free Europe" - which, of course, is not a 70s song, but I can't imagine anyone complaining about it.

      Perhaps the best song on The Life Pursuit is "Mornington Crescent," a Stonesy-sounding meditation (complete with Sticky Fingers country guitar and blues piano) with lyrics that would have fit in well on The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society. This is a fitting end because like Ray Davies, Stuart Murdoch is a gifted observer, not only of the world around him but of the wealth of musical styles that fall under the umbrella of pop music. Perhaps, that's why this album can incorporate so many styles without sounding derivative.

      Favorite Songs: "Mornington Crescent," "White Collar Boy," "The Blues Are Still Blue," "Song For Sunshine"

     

     

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