Jarvis Cocker – Jarvis

jarvis_jarvisThere is a difference between Pulp and Jarvis Cocker. Listening to Pulp, it’s easy to think there isn’t one. His voice and attitude are so pervasive, you might think he was the only creative influence. Even when he’s on someone else’s record (Barry Adamson’s Oedipus Schmoedipus comes to mind, with the excellent “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Pelvis”), it sounds like a Pulp party song (for a vaguely unsatisfying party).

This solo album proves otherwise. While suffering the ravages of domestic bliss, Jarvis ditches the Pulp aesthetic and assumes the mantle of a 70s singer/songwriter, releasing an album that would have been cromulent in 1973. (It sounds like it could have been recorded in L.A. with former members of the Wrecking Crew.)

Pulp’s music harkens – to disco, 80s electronica, and some Casio bastard born between, copping riffs and infusing them with Jarvis’ sleazy-sad-lover character. Jarvis does the same, going so far as to use a clever sample from “Crimson And Clover” to form the basis of “Black Magic.” For the first half (the first side?), he runs gang-busters, rocking out on “Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time” and the hilarious “Fat Children.” The second half sounds like a second side – slower, a bit mistier, and not terribly infectious. The songs are worthy, decent, and pleasant.

But you’ll wear out the grooves on the first seven tracks.

Rating: B-

About Kent Conrad

To contact Kent Conrad, email kentc@explodedgoat.com