Thursday, June 28, 2007

I Love Life

The sorta-title track of Pulp’s final (to date) album, “I Love Life” is the most literal of the album’s songs, in its uneasy steps towards feeling good about one’s existence. The main part of the song seems to be in two keys at once, before resolving in a splurge of furious rock at the end -- vaguely chaotic, but small change compared to mid-‘80s songs like “Tunnel” and “The Never-Ending Story.”

What matter most are the details – Jarvis’ specialty, after all. There’s nothing here bemoaning a fame hangover; it’s all stuff any weirded-out person might say. “Look at these buildings and houses/I love my life, I love my life,” is positively David Byrne-esque. The bridge seems to hint at a lost set of house keys leading to the end of a love affair.

We Love Life draws a pretty mixed reaction from Pulp’s fanbase. I’ve been pretty firmly on the pro side. For a long time, I never really understood the distaste some held for the production by Jarvis’ idol, Scott Walker. However, the version of this song from last year’s Pulp: The Peel Sessions anthology does indeed garner strength from lower production values and less gloss. The spirit is closer to the ramshackle but anthemic sound the band made all their own in the mid-‘90s.

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