Jarvis Cocker- Further Complications (Rough Trade)
10 Jun 2009
"jarvis, the solo artist, should make more sense than it does - but other than balloon lettering, it hasn't yet clicked..."; release - '09
Jarvis, the solo artist, should make more sense than it does - but other than balloon lettering, it hasn't yet clicked. A recent interview with Russell Senior (ex-Pulp), implied Jarvis' lessening willingness to collaborate on song writing, led to (arguably) weaker albums, such as swansong, We Love Life, and thus far, Cocker's solo career has not set the world alight (although this could be blamed on it being run by c***s, as Jarvis claimed on 'secret' track of his debut).
Here, 'further complications...' remain, with the glam rock chords of previous album's 'Black Magic' still in place, alongside less subtlety and heaviness of touch. While he has not lost his lyrical skill entirely, it often feels like he is indulging a desire to be Mott the Hoople. His band is reminiscent of Morrissey's: competent, but occasionally lumpen and without character, such as on the Bowie-touched 'Caucasian Blues'. 'F***ing Song' is as boring as it tries to be contentious, with meat and veg. rock riffs and a 70's rock vocal shaking like a wet dog.
With the apparent personal changes in his life, there is the inescapable sense of unspoken mid-life crisis hanging over this Steve Albini-recorded LP, and it shows in the more successful, quieter moments, such as the country-esque 'I Never Said I Was Deep', being genuinely sad: as honest as a man can get about the loss of moral compass. We hope for the next he will have recovered the warmth he finds in closer, 'You're In My Eyes (Discosong)'.