The Glorious Hum - Main Page

thoughts on the Life Pursuit

I didn't say anything earlier about the new Belle and Sebastian album, The Life Pursuit, because I wanted to take a few days to absorb it first. Now I have, and here goes:

The Life Pursuit comes as Belle and Sebastian's 8th full album (not including their recent Live album) and, as a result, expectations. It fails to surpass or even meet the intelligence and subtlety of the band's previous albums. The songs are upbeat without being catchy, and vaguely entertaining without being truly funny. In general, the album lacks the underlying cynicism that was so prevalent in Belle and Sebastian's previous works, part of the reason I'm such a huge fan. The songs are contemplative, merely half-formed conclusions set against a fully formed score, as the band uses more instruments than ever on this album (to the point where I wonder if the lack of guitar and piano was purposeful). The album is not as clever as its predecessors in its use of wordplay, though there are occasional moments of insight, such as in "The Blues Are Still Blue":

"When I see my washin' / the Black will be Grey / and the White will be Grey / but the Blues are still Blue"
The album is far more into storytelling than Storytelling, ironically, and rarely makes generalizations, preferring exposition. All this does not mean I am not enjoying the album, but I do find it less satisfying than Belle and Sebastian's previous two albums, which I felt were building to something great. Admittedly, I will have soon committed the album's songs to my mental index of Belle and Sebastian songs, and the album will no longer feel like such an offense. Then, I will be caught going to see Belle and Sebastian with the New Pornographers and even singing the album's songs under my breath. Nonetheless, The Life Pursuit will remain a disappointment.

Rolling Stone review (right on)
Pitchfork review (far too positive as far as I'm concerned)
PopMatters review (on it)
review from 75 or less album reviews (*roars at this one*)
review from Raw.Like.Sashimi (hmmm...)
review from Mercurial Sound (agree with this one completely)
Glorious Noise Review (mixed feelings about this one)

Labels: ,

0 Responses to “thoughts on the Life Pursuit”

Post a Comment

MP3's are here for sampling purposes only (so please don't steal my bandwidth by linking directly to song files).

If you are an artist or label and want an MP3 taken down, send an e-mail to:
theglorioushum (at) gmail (dot) com
and the file will be down ASAP.

Google Custom Search

Contact Information

Want to
...Submit music?
...Ask questions?
...Write for The Glorious Hum?

E-mail me (Kate) at
theglorioushum (at) gmail (dot) com

Some suggestions and notes regarding submissions (and other requests) can be found here.
About The Glorious Hum.


 Subscribe to RSS Feed
OR Delicious Bookmark TGH on Delicious
OR Subscribe to TGH by e-mail
OR Give TGH a thumbs up!

Recent Posts

Support the Artists!

Buy it at Insound!

Yellow Bird Project

Buy a band's T-shirt, support a charity. Included in the project: Rilo Kiley, the Shins, Devendra Banhart, Stars, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and others.

Last week's top played artists

Kate's  book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

Technical Support

I owe a big thank you to my Oberlin buddy Harris for some of the coding and for file-hosting (*hearts Harris*); you can hire him to build your website just because he's that awesome.

(Pretty Please) Bookmark The Glorious Hum on
My TTLB Ecosystem Details

Add to Technorati Favorites
Listed on BlogShares
Free Blogger Templates
Blogarama - The Blog Directory
mp3 blogs
make money online blogger templates

Subscribe with Bloglines
Add to Netvibes

I don't know anything about music. In my line [of work] you don't have to.
- Elvis Presley

© 2005 The Glorious Hum |