It about time I did another review. Although I prefer not to review mainstream artists, after all they get plenty of press already. I think this album warrants some attention as Jarvis Cocker has released under his own name rather than Pulp.
After Jarvis’ weird off shoot Relaxed Muscle we find this album returning to more familiar grounds. Although this isn’t Pulp it certainly is Jarvis at the top of his game lyrically. In truth the only real difference between this and a genuine Pulp album comes in the shape of lyrical subject and instrumentation.
Instrumentally it isn’t so hook laden and up beat (Do You Remember The First Time for example), so it takes more time to get to grips with it, but repeated listens certainly pay dividends. There are exceptions which are more musically reminiscent of Pulp’s drive such as Black Magic.
At the heart of Pulp and any good Jarvis solo effort of course are his observations through story based lyrics, and this certainly meets that. The difference between this and Pulp are subjects, the focus on the teenage and student views of life (hiding in wardrobes to watch your friend’s sister (Babies), living the life of the less well off (Common People)) has to an extent been replaced by broader issues although songs like Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time (the first single from the album) riff on those old themes, but other songs look at people in power (Running The World) and social climate (Heavy Weather, From A To I).
So if you like Pulp for its smart lyrics, you’ll love this. But if your preference is for pop sensibilities I’d approach with caution and try before you buy. Personally, I think its a fine album.
Relaxed Muscle (wikipedia)
Jarvis Cocker (myspace)
Pulp (official site)