“Further Complications” – ‘Jarvis Cocker’ [Joint Review]
Well, I decided the pick last week, so I thought it was worthwhile letting my partner choose this weekend’s choice, “Further Complications” by ‘Jarvis Cocker’. I’ve never come across this artist before in my life, despite his apparent ‘rise-to-fame’ during the good-ol’ nineties. Fans will know ‘Cocker’s’ on his own with this front, and newcomers should also be aware his prior allegiance with “Arabacus Pulp” – eventually shortened to just “Pulp” – found fame with their hit albums “His ‘n’ Hers” in ‘94, following this in ‘95, “Different Class”. So peoples, if you want to research into where it all began, I strongly recommend you start from the top and work your way down. My sudden introduction to ‘Jarvis Cocker’, though, I must admit, has ruined my appetite for the man…
Well, where to begin. I’ll start off by saying I’m completely disappointed. I’ve been reading raving reviews about this guy, and specifically, this album. And I’d scoured the net for hours and hours and hours…
And then, there it was. And I got it. And I played it.
I was expecting an epic, I was expecting something with a little more kick, and a little less repetition. I hate to break it to anybody, but I completely loathe this album – and thanks to that, will probably steer-clear of him from now on. My fellow blogger is going to totally disagree with me, but that’s the entire point of these “Joint-Review” albums. It’s so you guys can see both ends of the candle before they burn out, and you go listen to it for yourself. You know you’re getting your money’s worth – and especially time’s worth – when we both agree an album is absolutely fantastic.
Well, I think you’ll either love it or you’ll hate it. It’s got classic alternative/indie influences. And generally, I do enjoy a good run-through both these genres, they’re so much more open then, say, rock. Nothing, sadly, blew me away. ‘Cocker’ himself isn’t a particularly ‘grand’ singer – and usually, you’ll find a band has to reinforce the vocals appropriately, with guitar, percussion, etc, so it all works. But here, I’m not finding enough leading instruments. They’re repetitive, and all the tracks are somewhat similar. They bleed into each other, until it becomes one horrible mess in the middle, and an unproductive ending.
You’ll find “Further Complications” – the track – is forerunner for this album, and its somewhat frustratingly monotonous lyrics will leave you unimpressed, as it did with me. The guitar is predictably set in its riff: one , two down, three down, four up [yes, that’s basically the only way I can describe in words the simplicity of its tune; da da-di-dum]. And the rest? Well, you’ve got bass and secondary touching base with lead, and percussion that just keeps the rhythm. In the end, ‘Cocker’ is a standalone instrument that works quite in-harmoniously with his alignment of instruments.
And the arrival of the second, “Angela”, will only leave you in a stupor. I found myself on the carpet, froth dribbling at the mouth, shaking violently with it’s beginning. The same bloody da da-di-dum, just a key-and-time shift.
Believe me, by the end of it, I’ve been hypnotically brainwashed by the name “Angela” that whenever I hear its utterance, I’m left rocking back and forth in a corner. And yes, for the sake of it, I counted how many times the bloody name was said: A TOTAL OF THIRTY-TWO FRICKEN TIMES, MAN!
“What kind of a guy sings about a woman called Angela, anyhow?” – Foolish-Dude-One says, foolishly.
“Dude, any name with more than three syllables has to be cool, don’t you get it???” – Foolish-Dude-Two replies, frankly.
“What about Angelica?” – Foolish Dude One wittily retorts: “that’s got four…”
“… Shh– Shut up…”
Yes, well. We know what they’ve been smoking. Anyhow, I was almost proved wrong – midway through the lead decides to have it’s own solo, and suddenly the track picks up, right before it falls back into the rut. Bah! “Pilchard” probably has to be one of the highlights, but its minimal. It’s lead and secondary guitars fight for control, and the bass just escalates the conflict, but the “Uhmmm…. Uhmmm….”
“Dude! Dude! What the hell was that?” Foolish-Dude-Two moans, bong beside: “Did you just hear that ‘Uhmmm… Uhmmm…’ sound?”
“What the hell are you on about, that’s ‘Jarvis Cocker’ man…” Foolish-Dude-Two answers.
Look, the track had something going until ‘Cocker’ arrived, but it bummed out. And onto the next track, a ‘slllllllooooooowwwwwww’ down. Very intimate, but a real turn off when ‘Cocker’ speaks the lyrics “… I met her in the museum of paleontology…”
“… Pale-what-ontology?” Foolish-Dude-Two mumbles.
“Shut up, man! Let the guy write his review…” Foolish-Dude-One interrupts, “go on, man, finish it up…”
Anyways, I think 900 words is pushing on my limits. And I’ve just bought myself a pair of brilliant headphones, and what better else to listen to than ‘Jarvis Cocker’ – ’tis a terrible christening for such a beautiful, beautiful pair of headphones. There’s nothing substantial, for me, on this album. Those three tracks I talked about before just about mirror the rest, and there are a total of eleven ‘mind-numbing’ tracks. My advice? Don’t you dare buy it – just put it down, and forget about it. Skip “Slush”, by the way – has to be the worst construction of English-based-lyrics in the world. Two bongs outta five, an abysmal failure in my eyes – you’ll need to be off your face to have it any other way, that’s how I see it.
The Enantiomorphic God