It’s a nice thing to see Jarvis Cocker back making music again, and not as a panelist on a British chat show. Since his time away from PULP, Cocker has released a small bit of music under his own name. However with his newest offering JARV IS, there feels like a nice balance to his sound. Almost like a new and modern twist on what PULP did, their new full length Beyond the Pale is stronger and more resilient than his solo work prior.
The seven track album is a mix of modern Brit pop and indie rock. Cocker still carries that tongue in cheek British charm, though here it feels more in cheek than in your face. The first song of the album “Save the Whale” exemplifies this well, but it’s better heard on “Must I Evolve?” With backing vocals and Cocker’s own wondering vocals, the song has all of the making of what he’s known for with a twist. The highly arranged track delivers what you want while expanding his sound. Of course, the whole album exhibits this ideal.
“Am I Ideal” has this electronica meets indie pop tone while “Swanky Modes” is gentle and very English. Beneath the bass lines and piano lead, Cocker sings just under the music to offer a sound that leaks in and never leaves. But of the seven tracks, “House Music All Night Long” was the favored song. Giving you that well orchestrated pop gaze where Cocker’s own voice seems to thrive, the song plays out with plenty of weight without getting heavy. The sensible pop that twinkles with irony in the words and chill pop structure just works so well while staying in your head well after it ends.
Beyond the Pale is available to purchase directly from Rough Trade Records. It’s also ready to stream on all platforms or to purchase in all digital music stores.
Image Credits: Photo by Jeanette Lee.