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Belle & Sebastian 

The Life Pursuit

Wednesday, Feb 15 2006
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"Impossibly cute" and "precious" are often derisive labels that should never be applied to a suitably fearsome rock 'n' roll band, but how else can one describe Belle & Sebastian, Stuart Murdoch's aggressively sunny school project- turned-indie sensation? On their seventh studio effort, The Life Pursuit, these seven Scots roll up their collective sleeves and get dirty, cloaking fiery missives like "White Collar Boy" in bright, irrepressible melodies with a decidedly retro glam-rock flair. Elsewhere, they hop genres with ease: "Song for Sunshine" is, incredibly, a convincing slice of exuberant '70s soul, while "Sukie in the Graveyard" is transcendent pop, the kind that made Belle & Sebastian an overnight sensation after the 1996 release of Tigermilk. True to form, they're cute, they're precious, and -- here's the catch -- they're absolutely delectable.

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Rossiter Drake

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