Belle and Sebastian - Funny Little Frog

David Segurola 14/01/2005

Rating: 4/5

Yes, Scotland's finest fickle pop veterans are back with a new single and a new album. “Funny Little Frog”, the first track from upcoming release The Life Pursuit, will bring joyous news for those who found the light in Mercury Music Prize nominated Dear Catastrophe Waitress, but marks yet another step away from the acoustic tragedy of the likes of Tigermilk and If You're Feeing Sinister -- whether that's a tragedy in itself remains to be seen.

Much in the same vein of Belle and Sebastian's most successful single, “I'm A Cuckoo”, “Funny Little Frog” is rampantly upbeat in delivery. As always, the band show themselves to be one of the tightest musical units about, mixing tempo and layer to create a bounce and confidence that's rarely matched by bands lacking their years of experience. Hand claps and sing-along lyrics curl threw catchy bass and stop-start drumming, whilst Stuart Murdoch's ever-impressive vocals get bigger and bigger as the albums roll on.

The attractive and infernally addictive track doesn't quite accomplish what “I'm A Cuckoo” or any of the EP releases did and, in my own humble opinion, isn't the strongest or most memorable song on the album by a fair bit, but the quality is, as ever, manifested through inexplicable toe-tapping and head-nodding. An embarrassing phenomena, I'm sure you'll agree.

In the end, it's a wall of pop; it's a big fat slab of Belle and Sebastian meat slapped onto your plate. Enjoy with glee, if you wish.