The Life Pursuit (Matador)

Belle & Sebastian 

The Life Pursuit (Matador)

Used to be that Belle & Sebastian could record an album, call it Straight Outta Preciousville, and know that the title was appropriate. But the Scottish septet's sixth proper full-length turns out to be a solid pop record. Following the career-reviving exuberance of Dear Catastrophe Waitress, the band has chosen to follow the path of more enticing modern-day indie goofs (Super Furry Animals, for example), leaving behind, for the most part, the tweeness. "White Collar Boy" is distinctly New Pornographian, with its gurgling keyboards and rollicking beat; one almost expects the silver-tongued Neko Case to burst in at any moment. The record can get a bit cutesy at times with lines such as If I could have a second skin, I'd probably dress up in you, but for the most part, The Life Pursuit bounces and revels in comforting pop territory. Good thing, too, because Preciousville would've been a tough rhyme.

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