Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 22, No. 41, Ed. 1 Friday, February 24, 2006 Page: 53 of 100
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impressive lyrics. Fortunately, Ex-Boyfriends
have that department filled as well. Album open-
er "Him for Me" is a particularly good example.
On that taut hook-driven rocker, Daly chides a
former lover in no uncertain terms, honestly but
without a hint of emotional attachment.
Other equally enjoyable tracks include the
satisfying tell-off "It's Not Me, It's You," and
left-for-last marvel "I'm." Capturing the defiant
edge of love gone wrong in a way that most of us
never manage to pull off in real life, "Dear John"
proves to be a satisfying listen for anyone who
has ever found themselves on the receiving end
of a nasty romantic surprise.
Belle & Sebastian
"The Life Pursuit"
On their five previous
records, Belle &
Sebastian never delved
into what could reason-
ably be called "rock
music." The chamber-
pop ensemble's sound is
pretty, charming and often precious. A few '60s
R&B imitators aside, this acoustic-laced Scottish
act have always resided in pop music's daintier
quarter. What a difference an album can make.
Working with producer Tony Boffer (Air,
Beck), Belle & Sebastian discover an entirely
new palette on their newest release, "The Life
Pursuit." No longer just a smart band with a
clever turn of phrase and a flute solo, on this
album, the group cut loose like kids in a candy
store, offering a sweet blend of funk, '60s-era
pop, and even — gasp! — guitar solos. This
departure in style makes "Life Pursuit" one their
most memorable works.
In spite of the big changes, "Life Pursuit"
begins like a typical B&S record: sharp, quaint
and terribly obsessed with melody and harmony.
"The Act of the Apostle" and "Another Sunny
Day" are both strong tracks, perhaps distin-
guished by their upbeat tempos, but not entirely
surprising. It's only then that you'll notice some-
The next track, "White Collar Boy," is cer-
tainly unlike anything we've heard from Belle &
Sebastian. With a beat that sounds borrowed
from Gary Glitter and a synth bass-line to match,
the track has the cool strut of T. Rex or early
David Bowie. The oddness doesn't stop there, as
the following track, "The Blues are Still Blue"
follows the same aesthetic, albeit a little less
The experimentation continues throughout
"The Life Pursuit" "Funny Little Frog" could
pretty easily have been a long-lost Elton John
single, while the psychedelic pop of "We Are the
Sleepyheads" sounds resurrected from "Top of
the Pops," circa 1971. Elsewhere, we find slinky
funk, lounge jazz and even a laidback danceable
pop in "Sukie In the Graveyard." Although traces
of the old Belle & Sebastian emerge now and
then, it's the new direction that's most fascinat-
ing. Newcomers and lapsed fans alike will be
well-advised to snatch up this album. It's not
often that you get to hear a tiger change its
LOVING JONSI —
Sigur Ros bring their
orchestral rock from
North Sea to North Texas
Sigur Ros' music is often
compared to the harsh, barren
iandscape of the group's home,
Iceland. That's because it's so dif-
ficult to get a grip on the band's
sound. In an era when just about
everyone sounds like a cross
between band X and group Y,
Sigur Ros sound like no one else.
Dense, orchestral and unapolo-
getically theatrical, their sound
makes the group seem from outer
Led by queer singer Jon Por
"Jonsi" Brigisson, pictured,
whose younger sister shares a
name with the band, Sigur Ros
may as well actually be aliens for
all they communicate about
themselves to the outside world.
Notoriously reserved in interviews,
the group has next to nothing to
say about their influences, their
approach to songwriting or even
any insights into just what they
may be trying to accomplish.
By all accounts, Jonsi is a typ-
ical Reykjavik resident, albeit a
gay, hippie-vegan one. He sings
exclusively in falsetto, and mostly
an Icelandic-sounding gibberish
dubbed "Hopelandish." He plays
his guitar in the tradition of Jimmy Page — bowing
the Instrument rather than strumming. And if Inter-
views are to be believed, he's quite the heavy metal
fan and particularly fond of Iron Maiden.
So again the question arises: Just who are these
Jonsi and the group continue to insist that
they're just typical Icelanders, independent souls
whose good times just happened to earn them tens
of thousands of fans around the world. Strangely, it
may be true that Iceland's arctic atmosphere influ-
enced the sound of Sigur Ros, though not in the way
usually imagined. Tucked into their small corner of
the world, the quartet looked into the chill and
found warmth, crafting the sound in their converted-
— Gilbert Garcia
Bass Performance Hall, 525 Commerce St.,
Fort. Worth, Feb. 27at 8 p.m. Sold out. 817-212-
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02.24.06 I dallas voice I 53
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 22, No. 41, Ed. 1 Friday, February 24, 2006, newspaper, February 24, 2006; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth238897/m1/53/: accessed July 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.