Jarvis Cocker - Don't Let Him Waste Your Time - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

Jarvis Cocker - Don't Let Him Waste Your Time

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

Jarvis Cocker is no doubt a lovely chap, but before this single from his first solo effort, Jarvis, we hadn't honestly seen that much evidence to suggest it. From vicious putdowns of ex-girlfriends ('Razzamatazz') to lacerating barbs at slumming rich kids ('Common People') to grubby porn fantasies ('This is Hardcore'), we'd seen many sides to Mr Cocker, all of them slightly unnerving. But 'Don't Let Him Waste Your Time' is different, because it's got a heart of gold beating under its slightly musty-smelling second-hand tank-top.

Lyrically, we find Jarvis inhabiting one his favourite narrative roles, that of the observer blessed with special knowledge of how things are gonna go down. He's watching some young girl being courted by some guy. The girl's having fun right now, but Jarv knows what lies ahead - the years of making do as love slowly goes cold, the inevitable disappointment, the heartache when he starts chasing after younger models. So far, so Jaundiced Jarvis. What makes this different? Well, were it a younger Jarvis singing (say, 31-years-old: around the time of his first, long overdue taste of success), then these observations would be followed by Jarvis stepping out of the narrative shadows to give the lady what she really wants: a good seeing to at the hands of a witty Northern malcontent with an intimate knowledge of 70s sex comedies and an unhealthy attachment to corduroy.

But that doesn't happen. Instead, Jarvis advises her make herself heard, to tell her fella what she wants and then "go, go, go, go, go". With this subtle and sweet lyrical gesture, Jarvis shows us that he's finally gown up. And it's all wrapped up in a perfectly pitched, breezy but punchy tune which upstarts half his age could only dream of dreaming up. The acerbic, sex-obsessed Jarvis would return with a vengeance on 2009's rockist Further Complications, but in 2007 we got a glimpse of a clear-sighted, tune-packing man at peace with himself and with goodwill for the world. It couldn't last…

Richard Morris

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