100 for 2000 – #63. Belle And Sebastian – The Life Pursuit

To end another wonderful decade of great music, I’m going to write about ten albums from each of the last ten years, that are either great, or hold some sort of personal significance. A musical kiss off to 00s.

2006 – #3. Belle And Sebastian – The Life Pursuit
(Rough Trade)

It’s funny to think that for a band that I love so much, their last album was the first one I bought on release. But I guess Belle And Sebastian have slowed down. Ever since the band regrouped after the departure of Isobel Campbell and Stuart David, learnt to play live, do interviews and enjoyed being in a band. The Life Pursuit is even more slick, more fun and more exciting.

The band really shines on this record. As the story goes, the band started rehearsing and writing without Stuart Murdoch, and he finally came in and finished off the song ideas. And so, never has this band sounded less like Murdoch‘s backing band. Blues Are Still Blue, Price Of A Cup Of Tea and the amazing 70s funk of Song For Sunshine.

And as great it is that the band is on fire and the music sounds great – it is still Murdoch’s show. He brings in some of his best songs. Funny Little Frog, the first single, a twisted song of devotion. White Collar Boy is a bizarre cartoon of the simple boy led astray by a beautiful woman, set in a prison. Weird, but fun.

I know people who hate this record (most significantly, people who put out their previous albums). And yes, it’s almost like the second album of a new band.

I obviously love the new band though. And with this record, I finally felt like I was in the club.

One more thing. I always thought Mornington Crescent was in Scotland, but as it turns out it is of course in London. I think of their song every time I pass it. As we head into the London years, I thought I should point that out.

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