Jarvis Cocker - Jarvis

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

A lot of pop stars find it difficult to grow old gracefully, but not so Jarvis Cocker. His solo debut, Jarvis, find the former Pulp lyricist and frontman picking up more or where he left off with his former band, and the result is an album that befits a man in his thirties. In fairness, Cocker was always and astute and mature songwriter, with a keen gift for observation, so the transition to "serious" artist was never in any doubt. But still, it's a huge relief that Jarvis is so very, very good. He sings of love and loss, with perspective, knowledge, experience and, best of all, consummate ability. So "Don't Let Him Waste Your Time" is a pointed anti-marriage anthem, while "Fat Children" is a gloves-off attack on yob culture. Cocker is a great writer, and possesses the ability to make the listener laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time (check out the hidden track at the end for the finest example of this fact). Best of all, the quality of the lyrics is often matched by the strength of the tunes: "Black Magic" samples "Crimson & Clover" to fine effect, and "Heavy Weather" is downright anthemic. This is a superb album, one that should still be listened to for generations to come. --Ted Kord

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