Sometimes life is unfair. Sometimes, you're just dealt a bad hand that you have to play. It can happen at birth, but usually it's those little moments that make you realised you're cursed to a life of awkwardness and ineptitude. The wiliest of the bunch can rise above bad fortune and make something of themselves. You know the drill. Have your parents die in a train collision on their way home for your birthday and be left to raise your fourteen younger siblings alone and grow up to be a billionaire philanthropist. Or, even worse, survive the unfortunate name of Jarvis Cocker just to have the fortitude to bang Chloe Sevigny. Life is hard. When your cool, fantasy alter-ego is named Darren Spooner, you're fuc
But Cocker managed to make something of himself. He took the lemons given to him and made Pulp. He was 15 years old, probably fresh from a school-yard beating (I bet he was beaten to a PULP LOL), when Arabicus Pulp was formed. This name has an origin somewhere, but I'm too lazy to look it up. If you're looking for a reason why I discuss none of the other members, this reasoning will also suffice. Also the fact that more people have been in and out of Pulp than Chloe Sevigny. The band was formed in 1978, but to give poor Cocker a break, we'll skip to 1994 so I can get on with reviewing the actual album.
His n Hers
. The first moment where Cocker could look in the mirror and proudly state that he had finally made it. Yes, he had been captured in cartoon-form on the cover of an album. That Albarn poof has had it too, but...fu
ck him. Liam Gallagher and Brett Anderson have nothing, but they're cokeheads and that's an achievement in and of itself. Sure, his britpop rivals may have had more commercial and critical success than Cocker, but how many of them got to languish for over a decade in musical obscurity AND critical disfavour? That's what I thought.
Yes, Cocker's luck was finally shifting. Life was finally balancing itself out. You see 1994 was a massive year for British music, and Pulp just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Blur, Oasis and Suede all released MASSIVE albums this year. Pulp had been setting themselves up for this for over 15 years, and suddenly a whole wave of bands making similar music came around. Pulp was disco-tinged and echoed back to certain elements of the 70s, unlike the other britpop bands - you could hear much more Roxy Music and Donna Summer than the Kinks or the Beatles in their music.
In retrospect His n Hers
was really just a set-up for the massive Different Class
, but even when taken out of the context of the britpop scene and without regard for Pulp's musical progression the album stands alone quite well. Ignore the fact that every one of their songs could be replaced, both lyrical and musically with each other. Forget the fact that Cocker only has two themes - sex and being poor. Also being poor while thinking about having sex. Occasionally having sex while thinking about being poor. He wants revenge on the upperclass, he wants to have sex with the upperclass. Preferably their wives but not exclusively. It's mysterious and fun for the first while. You're embarking on a journey into a life which you have no business leading. Affairs with other people's wives while the kids are playing out front, hopeless retellings of the laughable "first time", your brother sleeping with your mother - Cocker and Danielle Steel are one and the same. Once you've absorbed the lyrics, you concentrate on the music. Cool, every song they ever wrote sounds the exact same! But man that one pattern they have is awesome! Cheesy disco-pop steeped in nostalgia... sounds like a winner. Fortunately Pulp provide us with a tracklisting to help us differentiate between the songs. I heart u
Cocker has this breathy whisper that adds to the allure, especially since half the time you can't even understand what the hell he's whispering about. But then the chorus kicks in and every song could be an anthem. See: every song on the album. Anthems preaching what, you ask? Alright, I lied when I said the album only had two themes. You see, Cocker is a painfully self-aware public figure. He wants to instill values in the youth of England before his fifteen minutes are over.
Originally Posted by Acrylic Afternoons
Just another cup of tea please. *gasp* thank you *gasp* thank you *pig squeal*
Originally Posted by Acrylic Afternoons
And they wait for their mothers/to finish with lovers/and call them inside for their tea
Originally Posted by Babies
I know you're gonna let him pull your pants off again/oh now it's half past eight
Originally Posted by Pink Glove
and he doesn't care what it looks like/as long as it's pink and it's tight/uh uh uh uh
God Bless you Mr. Cocker.
Honestly, there is only one song that can be described as bad on this album. "Someone Like the Moon" is bad enough to fit on an 80s Pulp album. Yes, that bad. Bad. Every other song is musically and lyrically exciting, which is quite a feat when they all sound the same. The formula never gets old. Highlights include Do You Remember the Razzmatazz? Pink Acrylic Lipgloss Babies
and She's a Happy Lady Joyrider Lately, David
If you've never heard a Pulp album before, don't let this review turn you off. Different Class
has traditionally been the recommended starting point (though I suppose the Singles album fills that gap now), and I would continue to recommend Different Class
to a new listener. But for those who appreciate and enjoy DC, His n Hers
is an appropriate follow-up album. It doesn't have the immediate catchiness of DC or the sophistication of This is Hardcore
, but it's a beautiful piece of pop music that is criminally overlooked by even the most loyal of Cannibal Corpse fans. I don't get it :confused:.
That Cocker fellow sure turned his luck around with this album. It was the one that set him up for Different Class
, namely the working class Britpop anthem "Common People" that made him an international phenomenon in 3 countries, and earned his 485 former bandmates the distinction of being "that fellow who wrote that song that Shatner sung"'s former bandmates. Those lucky bastards.
over and out