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Best 'Finally, they've made an album I like!' album: Belle and Sebastian - The Life Pursuit

I've never really dug B&S. Some of their songs were ok, some were really good, but every time I stuck on one of their records, it was so monochromatic and apologetic that I'd have to listen to some Spice Girls and eat some beef just to restore balance. 'Dear Catastrophe Waitress' was a step away from that, with more of a pop edge, but it didn't sound right. 'The Life Pursuit' sounds right.

Easily my most played album of the first half of the year, I still love sticking it on. The bass part in the middle of 'Sukie in the Graveyard' is chunky enough to support the weight of small children. The trifecta of breezy pop perfection that comprises tracks 2, 3 and 4, made my morning drives to work way more enjoyable. The last song is sad and pretty and about a weird Tube station in north London which used to be closed all the time. Truth be told, enjoying 'Pursuit' so much made me dig up the older stuff again, but only 'If You're Feeling Sinister' ever gets any replays (and even there, it's the live album). So, kudos to Stuart and the gang for bringing me round to the twee-est gang in town.

But it wasn't quite good enough to win...

Best Scottish album of the year: My Latest Novel - Wolves

What a debut! You know how, when hot air rises, cold air rushes in to replace it? To fill the vacuum, so to speak? Let's assume the delgados were hot air. They broke up, and my life had a "gorgeous Glasgow band to melt into" shaped vacuum. But fear not! Here, taking the form of a cool breeze, are My Latest Novel! What a clunky and not-quite-working analogy.

There's a lot to love on this album. The conversational, upbeat 'The Job Mr Kurtz Done', which steers far away from its eponymous hero's craziness. Majesterial single 'Sister Sneaker, Sister Soul', which is up there for me in terms of impact with 'Black Dollar Bills'. The song 'When We Were Wolves' has about six lyrics but about six-hundred excitements (New unit of measurement). Only the instrumental track isn't too great. Best track? That leads us nicely to...

Best second half of a song: My Latest Novel - Wrongfully, I Rested

Look, nothing against the first half. It's certainly not bad at all. The pace builds steadily and it gets pretty intense. But then everything cuts out, to a few hits of the xylophone, and then the violin starts again... From the 2.23 mark, this is a whole new song, completely gorgeous and once the new vocal melody begins, with "la-la-las", it's just silk.

[download Belle and Sebastian - Sukie in the Graveyard]
[download My Latest Novel - Wrongfully, I Rested]


Jim said...

*claps* splendid choices, especially My Latest Novel.

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