Remains one the world's finest pop entities. Long may he confuse, delight and wonder.
Ian Wade 2009
Few pop people continue to enthrall and beguile like Jarvis Cocker. He can flick effortlessly between highbrow and low lives with ease, from Pulp to Stars In Their Eyes with Radio 4, poetry, lectures, discos all sandwiched in between, and is currently the main reason many have given for growing a beard.
Since Pulp dissolved at the start of the decade, he'd been sorely missed, bar the tremendous Relaxed Muscle palaver, he'd only go as far as collaborations and writing before being relaunched as a solo turn with 2006's Jarvis Cocker Record, which majestically reasserted him as elder statesman figure. As a sort of Stephen Fry of indie, he was welcomed back with wide arms.
Now the follow-up, Further Complications arrives in a blaze of ROCK. Produced by Steve – Nirvana, PJ Harvey, Manics – Albini, the change is refreshing as it is a little odd. Albini being the master of cutting out extraneousness, takes Jarvis away from the mirrorballs and down towards a glammier moshpit. First single Angela sets the tone, strutting riffily about ''4.50 an hour/ complimentary shower''; opener and title track autobiographically details his birth and rise over something Polly Harvey might knock out along with the green issue-based Slush; the Hawkwindy krautrock of Pilchard snorts along superbly; I Never Said I Was Deep moods along more in vein with the Cockerisms of old; while closing highlight You're In My Eyes (Discosong) tells of a chap who sees the reflection of his lover in his eyes and doesn't want to close them in case she disappears. No really.
Further Complications may confuse anyone still expecting another Disco 2000 some 15 years on, but rewards are there upon each listen. The wit and humour are still intact among the rock shapes and beef, and whether he likes it or not, Jarvis still remains one the world's finest pop entities. Long may he confuse, delight and wonder.