The more things whatever, the more they stay the same. For men of a certain age the planet has become part techno wonderland, part ego graveyard, the sort of place in which you can stay, but how to play requires a 200 page instruction manual.
Jarvis Cocker has reached that threshold, but having surfed the wave of cultural zeitgeist briefly quarter of a century ago with Pulp, he’s now older and wise enough to know that whilst the sounds, buttons and lights around us all keep changing, a million years of human instinct can’t be undone by people making fools of themselves in a ten second video.
Recorded almost live with an ensemble band, Beyond The Pale sticks to many of his favourite subjects – lust, jealousy, dancing – and on the likes of Must I Evolve and Am I Missing Something his ear for lyrical mischief trades off against jam-like, winding tunes that emphasise a new looseness to his music.
Cocker has spoken recently of his undying belief in pop, of values that never change despite the method reinventing itself and both Sometimes I Am Pharaoh and House Music All Night Long are, in his head, doubtlessly songs that live in that realm, despite the contrary evidence. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, which, on Beyond The Pale, is the brilliantly executed point.
You can read the full review here.