Jarvis Cocker Shakes Off The Complications

noah | May 18, 2009 10:00 am

Our look at the closing lines of the week’s biggest new-music reviews continues with a roundup of reactions to Further Complications, the second solo album by Jarvis Cocker: • “Long branded a thinking man’s rocker, Cocker seems refreshed to simply bash through an electrifying set of tunes concerned more with appropriate vibe than surgical precision. It’s deeper than you think.” [Scott McLennan, Boston Globe] • “Cocker’s warmth and wit are in short supply, as is the sweeter side of his melodic gifts. The extended, prog-rock freak-out intro to ‘Pilchard’ is as light as it gets. The grungey, singalong(ish) eighth track will have us bopping in the aisles at his sure-to-be cathartic live shows next month. But then it is called ‘Fuckingsong,’ and it opens with a chainsaw.” [Craig McLean, The Observer] • “There are moments of pure magic: ‘Pilchard’ gives off that old whiff of barely contained danger; the bracingly bitter ‘I Never Said I Was Deep’ is set to a country-blues so weary, it’s barely conscious; and the sepulchral smooch fest of ‘You’re in My Eyes (Discosong)’ is bereft of either sensuality or hope. Elsewhere, though, the album thrashes around in search of a musical home, suggesting that Cocker still has some hunting to do.” [Dan Cairns, Times Of London] • “But too often Complications trades in Cocker’s well-spoken distinctiveness for a bar-band squall that’s a tad on the generic side. It also suffers from particularly poor song sequencing, starting off with the nondescript ‘Angela’ and saving more memorable songs, like the winning weather metaphor ‘Slush’ and the attractively sleazy ‘You’re In My Eyes (Discosong)’ for dead last.” [Dan DeLuca, Philadelphia Inquirer]