Sunday, November 13, 2011

Jarvis Has Further Complications

It's been a long long time since Jarvis Cocker was part of Pulp. Since that time, he's dressed up as a skeleton and made no-wave as part of Relaxed Muscle, gotten married, apparently gotten divorced, and even found time to launch and maintain a solo career. As times change so has Jarvis and his newest album Further Complications is a reflection of this.

Gone are the massive pop hooks that lurked Pulp songs and made the band gargantuan, instead subtle and rough hooks now capture you behind your back and refuse to let go. Jarvis may not have written 12 variations of "Common People," on Further Complications but he still has his wits about him and he's not afraid to use them. He might be older and wiser, but Jarvis clearly still knows how to write a fantastic pop song whether it's subtle or not.

Be that as it may, the magic of Jarvis Cocker has always been how sneakily he could write songs about spending time between the sheets and his relationships with the opposite sex without you knowing it, and the songs that populate Further Complicationsare certainly no different (see the title track or "You're In My Eyes"). Jarvis is a man in and out of love so often that he's made a career out of it. Thankfully for us, his bad luck has made for some of the finest British pop ever.

Further Complications is a dramatic, hyper affair that takes it's influences from Relaxed Muscle, Jarvis, and a bit of pure rock and roll. At times the record is loud, brash and uncompromising while at others it's a retreat back to the 70's disco era. It's a nice contrast that Jarvis makes the most of. Further Complications is by far the most rockingalbum he's ever done. In fact at times, he almost comes off as an Iggy Pop like singer. You can thank for Steve Albini for giving Jarv all this pure rock and roll energy and making him sound like he's hungry. In a sense, Further Complicationsplays out as a statement of intent; it's Jarvis saying that he has still got the fire and passion to make music and he's not afraid of going headlong over the edge.

A bit angry, a bit upbeat, but most definitely all Jarvis, Further Complications is a fantastic record. Listening to this record is like listening to a completely new Jarvis. Further Complications is the sort of record that's just rock and roll enough to make you forget that Jarvis once ruled over British pop with festival anthems and records that sold millions. This is pure Jarvis and it's hardcore; fantastic stuff.

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