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The Life Pursuit CD

4 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (6 Feb. 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Rough Trade Records
  • ASIN: B000BM2OUQ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,906 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

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Time has revealed Belle & Sebastian’s reputation for a rather wimpy indieness to be more the result of their relative inexperience than any real predilection for twee juvenilia. On their seventh album, The Life Pursuit, we find these errant Scots further building on the surprisingly muscular, Trevor Horn-produced sound of 2003’s Dear Catastrophe Waitress, delving into the sound of ‘70s glam and tarrying ever further from the winsome folk with which they made their name. "White Collar Boy" bumps along on Glitter Band rhythms, vocalist Stuart Murdoch –forget the patchy democracy of mid-period B&S albums; Stuart is the leader here – narrating a tale of petty theft and chain-gang romance with a feisty charisma, while "The Blues Are Still Blue" is a stylish doff of the cap to T.Rex and the Television Personalities, albeit one that evokes the spirit both, but copies neither. And oh! What foul mouths. Whether Murdoch’s announcing "They are hypocrites, so fuck them too" before a warm brass break on "Dress Up In You", or telling the tale of a teenage tearwaway on "Sukie In The Graveyard" ("She liked to hang out in the art-school/She didn’t enrol, but she wiped the floor with all the arseholes"), it’s the sound of a Belle & Sebastian that’s matured in the most agreeably immature way.--Louis Pattison

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Funny to see looking through previous reviews how much opinion can be divided by this CD. "The Life Pursuit" is very much a continuation of the direction taken in "Dear Catastrophe Waitress". It maybe doesn't have the same ultra-gloss production sheen, but this is as mainstream as you'll have ever heard B & S. None-the-less there are good songs on here, some excellent and no weak efforts. But perhaps they don't have the unique quirkiness that earlier recordings had, and those that established such a fanatical cult following.
Some familar B&S themes are here; Self-referential lyrical depreciation. Side references to religion. Musical inspiration taken from the 70s. Mainstream, but unmistakable. Equally noticable is that the band members are better musicians than ever. This is a band still on the way up, still changing, a band not yet devoid of new ideas.
I suppose it must hurt to see your own special obscure band take a direction that gets them attention outside their niche. I can't see any other reason for some of the review comments here. Common sense would suggest if you really only ever liked past B&S member Isabel Campbell's music, the best course of action is to buy a CD that she's on, not one she's not. It seems pointless to complain about her absense afterwards, never mind inventing unsavoury personal motivations for other band members based around her.
B & S are changing. They're still making good music. Join in or move on.
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Format: Audio CD
Those of you awaiting another 'If you're feeling sinister' are sadly going to be waiting for a long time. 'Life Pursuit' follows the previous albums more conventional approach to song writing, although there can be no mistaking Stuart Murdoch's dulcet tones it soon becomes clear listening to this record that Belle & Sebastian are a completely different band. Infact anyone hoping to call this album 'twee' will be pleasantly surprised, forthcoming single 'Funny Little Frog' is both charming and touching 'You're my girl and you don't even know it'. 'White Collar Boy' sounds like an indie take on the stomp of glam rock whilst the gently sloping 'Act of the Apostle Pt 2' has a melody reminiscent to 'Century of Fakers' intially anyway. Though the new album is another step away from the former glories it's still an album of fantastic quality. Aaaah, for the good old days. 'If you're going to grow up you got to do it on your own'. Quite.
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By A Customer on 9 Jan. 2006
Format: Audio CD
Absolute gold. Their best album to date, how do they keep on churning out these classics? This is one of those rare albums that you can listen to from track 1 straight through to track 13 without skipping, every track is excellent. My only quibble is the choice of single, I feel that there are many better tracks on the album that would have made a more comercially viable choice - but hey when where the Belles ever about that?! Sit back and enjoy a stunning run of form from the Glaswegians (and of course Bangor Bobby!)
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By pjr VINE VOICE on 6 May 2008
Format: Audio CD
One should really spare a thought for some of the other bands who tiptoed onto the scene at the same time as B&S. Take pause as most of them are defunkt and few that are still going seem to be growing in popularity. B&S are probably more high profile now than they were after winning that BRIT all those years ago...

Truth is (and here come dozens of unhelpful votes) that I've always felt that Stuart Murdoch is the strongest element and Isobel Campbell was always the weakest link for me. Murdoch seems to have finally made the descision to properly lead the band and, second time out, really has nailed it thanks to not sharing songwriting duties. What results is a much more cohesive record and B&S are all the better for it. The writing is funny, bright, happy and accessible. I'm not sure which upsets the hardcore the most but I simply see this as a man developing and growing in stature as a songwriter. I'm sure that if he'd released this as a solo album some of the frustrations noted here by others would be admiration.

From the lovely piano lines of "The Act Of The Apostle" onwards there is a brightness about this. It's a development from the last album primarily because there were times on the last one it all felt a little forced. None of this feels forced. The singles are all pop inflected and veer from the almost sunshine pop of "Funny Little Frog" to the gentle glam of "White Collar Boy". Personally I'd have put "Song For Sunshine" out as it has a-sunrise-on-a-beach-after-a-night-at-a-rave feel about it. Then there's the two acts of the apostles which (although I'm an athiest myself) seem to compelling hint at Murdoch's own faith. It's no bad thing at all.

In truth this is a coherent, well written, nicely produced album with a good many highlights. The sound of a band that's still moving their sound forward and is all the better for it. Long may it continue.
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Format: Audio CD
As much as I adore B&S's early work (my favourite album is their second, followed by the early Jeepster EPS), you cannot stay 16 forever. B&S have to grow up. How many fey songs about bedsits with scratchy guitars can they write. These people are musicians. They are not Robbie Williams churning out what they think the fans want. They are artists remaking the world in their image. You are entitled not to enjoy the music but you cannot tell them they are wrong. I have been listening to this album for some months now and it has just grown and grown and grown. It is miles ahead of the patchy and over produced DCW. The Life Pursuit is nothing if not a 24 carat gold pop classic. But, the musicianship! The playing! Listen to it on headphones once or twice - cycling on a sunny morning or walking to the newsagent. Another Sunny Day is exquisite, and as quintessentially B&S as Get Me Away From Here... or anything from Tigermilk. The only low point is Song For the Sunshine which is just badly written pap. This should have been left off and the album would have been a nice round 12 songs. This band is growing, and how. Richard Colbert has never sounded so good. It's like they've hired Jimmy Cobb or "Philly" Joe Jones or something (nice!). This is a marvellous album. Nothing this year has topped it yet and 2007 is on the way. Album of the year! Album of the year! Altogether now: 'You're my picture on the wall, you're my image in the hall, you're the one I'm talking to, when I'm coming home from school...'
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