Belle and Sebastian: The Life Pursuit (Shock)

 |   |  <1 min read

Belle and Sebastian: Sukie in the Graveyard
Belle and Sebastian: The Life Pursuit (Shock)

This long-running Scottish outfit has had brief flirtations with wider acclaim -- a Mercury Prize nomination in 2004, a year ago voted the Best Scottish Band Ever by their countrymen -- but has never enjoyed more than a devoted cult following.

That’s a pity because their albums offer a bewildering, but beautifully realised, array of styles from Burt Bacharach sophistication to dark indie-rock and pure vacuous-sounding radio pop.

Not that mainman Stuart Murdoch isn’t trying for greater acclaim: for their 03 album Dear Catastrophe Waiter they called in pop producer Trevor Horn, and for this typically quietly persuasive collection they have Supergrass/Beck producer Tony Hoffer presenting their colour chart of styles and mature lyrics in a good light.

White Collar Boy has a smattering of T Rex and early Bowie glam-pop; Sukie in the Graveyard is a jerky indie-pop killer with stabbing guitar and swelling Hammond; horn-punctuated Northern soul drives Funny Little Frog; Mornington Crescent is a slow alt.country ballad where Ray Davies’ social observation is combined with personal disillusion; and so on.

There are the customary B&S flat spots (notably the lame To Be Myself) and seven albums in it’s unlikely they will ever be massive, but this is further evidence of why their knowing, intellectual and cleverly considered  music from a small corner of the pop pantheon deserves wider appreciation.


Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

The Black Seeds: Fabric (Black Seeds)

The Black Seeds: Fabric (Black Seeds)

In our overseas absence the Black Seeds got the media vibe going in anticipation of this new album, which of course went past us. But did we really miss the excitement? On the evidence... > Read more

The Dodos: Time to Die (Shock)

The Dodos: Time to Die (Shock)

As a number of overseas critics have noted, it isn’t entirely encouraging to hear singer Meric Long of this San Francisco duo announce repeatedly on Fables here, “I don’t wanna go... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

ELITE SQUAD; THE ENEMY WITHIN by JOSE PADILHA (Madman DVD)

ELITE SQUAD; THE ENEMY WITHIN by JOSE PADILHA (Madman DVD)

When it comes to a bit of the old glamorous ultra-violence, Hollywood might as well give up trying. The mainstream American audience has little stomach for violence which is so visceral that you... > Read more

NARCOS, Seasons One and Two (Madman DVD/BluRay)

NARCOS, Seasons One and Two (Madman DVD/BluRay)

Just how good is Narcos, this television series about the life and times and murderous regime of the Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar? Consider this: Recently we were in Stockholm in an air... > Read more