100 for 2000 – #94. Jarvis Cocker – Further Complications

To end another wonderful decade of great music, I’m going to write about ten albums from each of the last ten years, that are either great, or hold some sort of personal significance. A musical kiss off to 00s.

2009 – #4. Jarvis Cocker – Further Complications
(Rough Trade)

I’m a big Pulp fan. I liked both Jarvis Cocker and the band and his first solo album was good, but it was the logical Jarvis minus Pulp equation. It lacked a musical mission. Anyway, the man is back, and with a fire in his belly. Divorce, old age, and just general disgust is back. Further Complications indeed.

Cocker has never, ever rocked this hard. He has a new young band, and the lush indie disco that has been his staple for decades is gone (except for in one important song). Steve Albini being behind the dials might explain it. But the guitars, the rawness and the abrasive-ness is all suit the new Jarvis Cocker.

The lust is back. First single is the roaring Angela (is she a call girl? Where else does one get complimentary showers?), all guitars and fuzz. It follows on from the blistering title track, both leading you to think this might a be a record where Sherlock Holmes is fronting the Stooges.

Cocker sounds so confident on here, and you can tell that he is happy being so angry again. Eschewing the sweet but dark ballads of his last record, here Cocker goes for the throat. Nowhere is better than I Never Said I Was Deep, bursting the bubble on his nerd-chic, celebrating his need for sex and women.

Fuckingsong is another highlight. Using a song as a phallic symbol, and how shit that actually is. In Leftovers he is pleading with a younger women to give an old man some affection. It’s enough to make Loudon Wainwright III blush.

In short, he is taking the same place as someone like Nick Cave. Gracefully aging disgracefully. His best work has always been ones that make you think twice. Did he really say that? I met her at the museum of paleontology/and I make no bones about it. What?

When you think you have the album pegged, it all ends with You’re In My Eyes (Discosong). It would sound like a traditional Cocker number, if not for the fact that the synth samples, and in fact the whole song, is mixed so very low. The effect sounds like a dirty old man whispering in your ear a come on as a sleazy song plays in the background.

Cocker is cutting loose. After a misstep, we now have a new template of what a Jarvis Cocker solo record can be.

Further Complications by Jarvis Cocker. He’s never been so rock.

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