Music » Critic's Choice

Belle & Sebastian

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After a hiatus, a rumored breakup, and a label jump, Belle & Sebastian have reunited with Matador and delivered their sixth proper album, The Life Pursuit. The band has been so cultishly adored and comfortingly consistent since its inception that just its name--a virtual synonym for youngsters with little band buttons, cardigans, and precious regard for all things twee--can serve as a punch line. But the jokes aren't going to come so easy now that singer Stuart Murdoch sounds like a dead ringer for Marc Bolan, rather than the loneliest boy in Brigadoon, and the music has started to sound more like 10cc. Even the album art's sexed up: gone are the film stills of coquettish pixie girls, replaced with three comely lasses, their pouting lips glossed, bras showing, ready to bust out of their schoolgirl uniforms. One of them is even curiously stroking a sword while staring into the distance. You know, maybe Belle & Sebastian don't take themselves as seriously as we do. The New Pornographers open. Fri 3/10, 7:30 PM, Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine, 773-275-6800 or 312-559-1212, sold out. All ages.

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