Sunday, June 24, 2007

Blue Glow

Quite possibly my favorite Pulp song released in the ‘80s, “Blue Glow” shows that even as the band was still trying to master the rudiments of songwriting and instrument-playing, they could happen upon a work of utter musical clarity like this. The members who would carry the band into the next decade distinguish themselves best. Candida Doyle sketches a simple, lonely line on an upright piano. Russell Senior’s violin rises and falls from eerie calm into frenzied panic and back again. And Jarvis Cocker matches him with a lyric that touches on what would become a cornerstone subject matter: romantic obsession in the unlikely poetic setting of Sheffield at night. As he peers into her bedroom window, the thick, black sky and the surrounding river (possibly the Porter Brook or the River Sheaf) conspire against him. This could be a work of autobiography, or it could be Jarvis playing a more dangerous, sociopathic character.

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