Jarvis Cocker, Further Complications

Terry Staunton

By Terry Staunton

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Further Complications

Jarvis Cocker

Familiar motifs abound on Cocker's second solo album, recorded as close to live as possible in the studio. The sound, as you might expect from a Steve Albini production, recalls the more abrasive art-rock elements of Pulp's This Is Hardcore — most notably on the title track, "Homewrecker!" and "Pilchard." However, much of the lyrical subject matter is closer to the kitchen-sink dramas of Different Class; "Leftovers," with its recollections of meeting an academically gifted girl in a museum, even comes across as a knowing parody of "Common People".

Revisiting old territory with a wiser head

This being Cocker, though, the tales of everyday folk contain a few twists, be it the minimum-wage sex worker of "Angela" (sonically, a nod to the power pop of The Knack's "My Sharona") or the reluctant lover of "I Never Said I Was Deep," a widescreen ballad that owes a debt to sometime Cocker collaborator Richard Hawley. The epic closer "You're In My Eyes" is a movie in itself, a middle-aged Jarvis ruminating on the provincial discotheques of his youth and assessing his place in the world. Further Complications is rough-hewn in parts, but it brims with the wit and articulacy we've come to expect from one of the UK's most reliable singer-songwriters.