Jarvis Cocker - album review
Jarvis (Rough Trade)
From the punchy pop of The Long Blondes to Arctic Monkeys’ seedy subject matter and dapper showmanship of Franz Ferdinand, the influence of Jarvis Cocker is everywhere in modern music. Yet after the demise of his old band the Sheffield indie legend became a bit of an eccentric oddity - dabbling in electro side-projects, television, DJing and even a Harry Potter film - and with none of it amounting to much, you could have been forgiven for banishing him to the Britpop bin.
Thankfully Jarvis saves the speccy icon’s bacon, as it finds him on top form, producing some of his best songwriting since his Pulp heyday, and finding yet more twists on his trademark themes of sex, drugs, infidelity and general misfittery. Where in the past, Cocker tended to place himself at the forefront of his efforts, these thought-provoking tracks find him standing on the sidelines and painting vivid, compelling lyrical pictures of the unfolding action; from the soaring guitar-fuelled heartbreak of ‘Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time’ to ‘I Will Kill Again’’s dark piano-tinged tale of murder and the ghostly scratchy attack of ‘Fat Children’.
The most perfect work he could have made at this stage in his career, Jarvis is an infectious, intelligent and utterly majestic effort which reaffirms Cocker’s place as one of this country’s most important songwriters. Our protagonist may now be an older onlooker on a scene he helped to create, but he clearly still has plenty to say.