It is quite dreary outside, which is why I am inside. The sky is overcast and threatening rain. It has come down in mists and light drops occasionally throughout the day. In other words, it is a perfect day to sit in a bedroom with the door closed, singles strewn all over the bed, listening to music. Right now it’s The White Collar Boy by Belle & Sebastian.
“The White Collar Boy” is not my favorite song off The Life Pursuit (2006). That place I reserved long ago for “Act Of The Apostle” (both I and II) and “Dress Up In You”, but it is far from my least favorite. Some friends didn’t like The Life Pursuit at all, being the first one the group did not produce and mix themselves. It was cleaner, not nearly as raw as their previous albums—and that is a characteristic quite apparent in “The White Collar Boy”.
“Baby Jane”, on the other hand, seems to follow the group’s historically traditional, less produced sound. The horns return and, overall, the song is less electric than many of the songs you’ll find on The Life Pursuit. It was recorded exclusively for Sirius Radio, states the back cover. The song itself is a beautiful track, filled with emotion. The backing instruments look to the groups of the 60s and 70s for influence much more than the A-Side and other songs off The Life Pursuit.
Whether you like the new album or not, this is a great single to have in your collection. On sound, it draws from both the new and the old. On influence, the same. Truly a brilliant single, two phenomenal songs.
This review was originally published October 23, 2006 on the old version of FensePost. In the years since picking up this single, The Life Pursuit has become one of my all-time favorite releases. This single, and even more so that album, is well worth your money and your time.
Rough Trade [7” Single, 2006]
1. White Collar Boy
2. Baby Jane