Yeah, he’s from Pulp. You know that. You probably also know that his 2006 debut was a solid effort. But do you know that Jarvis Cocker’s sophomore release, “Further Complications,” as the title hints, is as full of the wry wit of his prior work? He’s more “rock” on this release, with a harder edge and rougher guitar, but other than that, this is what you’d expect from Cocker.
From the outset, the title track is pure rock and roll, a radio-ready guitar tune guaranteed to get you singing along in the car. Other standouts include what I suspect will be the first single, “Angela,” (glam rock more similar to Pulp than Cocker’s solo album), and “Homewrecker!”, retrorock with a sax line. Some of these, like “Angela” and the ambiguously titled “Fuckingsong,” have been played live for about a year now, so he’s tight and has already worked out the kinks on them. He could have done with a little more such field testing “Slush,” a track that clearly needs some work. Hang with this long-player, though, because at about 3:30 it starts to kick in.
I’ve read some fan sites saying that Jarvis went “pop” or “sold out” on this one, but to them I say: Have you ever heard Pulp? It was pretty mainstream stuff. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with sounding mainstream, by the way, as long as you’re also good. Some fans also complain that the record was produced by Steve (Pixies; Nirvana) Albini, one of the biggest alt-rock producers in the business. To them I say: There’s a reason Albini is so well known. He’s great. So suck it up.