Scottish band Belle & Sebastian are the quintessential indie pop band. Throughout their 19 year career, they’ve always stayed outside the mainstream currents, while still producing quality music and often very catchy songs. On their 7th album entitled “The Life Pursuit”, published in 2006, the art of Belle & Sebastian reaches a higher note.

Songs like White Collar Boy take a very brit-pop accent that recalls The Kinks as much as Blur. Another Sunny Day is an instant classic that ranks up with Stuart Murdoch’s best compositions ever with its catchy chorus, beautiful spleen in his singing : an immediate recognition of the Belle & Sebastian typical songs. Dress Up In You is another sad but soft song. When the trumpets pick up the main melody, you kind of wonder if George Martin produced the song, as it sounds so much like Penny Lane or another majestic English pop song from The Beatles’ golden era. Later on, We Are The Sleepyheads brings some 70s disco funk to the band’s repertoire. Yep, fast guitars and hi-hat beats mix pretty well with Murdoch’s melodic singing.


Other songs are more upbeat and played in major mode. The Blues Are Still Blue is a more forgettable pop song that blends The Cars and The Knack’s influences, which do not suit the band as well as their traditional style. Personally, “The Life Pursuit” isn’t my favorite Belle & Sebastian because of these happy tongue-in-cheek Brit pop songs that aren’t what this band is all about (for me). Yeah, I get that these folks can’t always be blue, but if I want to hear happy English songs, I’ll pick up a Kinks or a Paul McCartney album. I expected more spleen from these indie pop darlings.

Still “The Life Pursuit” can be a great album for a Belle & Sebastian newbie coming from the pop world to get acclimated with the band’s sound. But fans will prefer “The Boy with the Arab Strap” or “Tigermilk”, true indie pop classics.

The Life Pursuit
(Rough Trade / Matador, 2006)

-Genre: indie Brit pop
-Sounds like The Kinks, Blur, The Cars

Follow the band via his Facebook page
Listen to videos on the band’s YouTube channel

Réagissez à cet article / Comment this article

commentaires / comments

About The Author

Mélomane invétéré plongeant dans tous les genres et époques, Nicolas Pelletier a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts depuis 1991, dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie "Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique" en 2013, lance le site RREVERB en 2014, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016. Il dirige maintenant la stratégie numérique d'ICI Musique, la radio musicale de Radio-Canada.