Tuesday, July 17, 2007

O.U. (Gone, Gone)

What people think of as the “classic” Pulp sound, it begins here. Sure, before that, there was “My Legendary Girlfriend” and Separations, but much of that work was made before the band truly coalesced as studio performers. On “O.U. (Gone, Gone),” some key elements of the Pulp sound emerge. Candida Doyle’s reliable Farfisa organ no longer signifies low-rent horror; now it’s something glammy and kitschy, yet oddly uplifting. And drummer Nick Banks finds a way to fit his style into the band, by combining Moe Tucker-like simplicity with the disco-rock rhythms of Blondie’s Clem Burke.

Jarvis’ vocals and perspective mark the biggest change. Finally, the guy has cheered up a little. He’s still talking about a busted relationship, but his attitude has completely shifted. He’s not mulling over the shattered remains, he’s scheming to get her back. He’s referring to himself in the second person, like he’s trying to narrate his life story, give it some drama, for additional motivation. He’s begun to develop his penchant for idiosyncratic vocal interjections. I believe this is the first appearance of “Ma ma ma ma ma ma ma…” and he ends the song with some euphoric “Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah, oh yeah”s. By the end, he just sounds really fucking happy to be alive, not necessarily related to the story of the song, more because he can barely believe he and his struggling band of oddballs actually came up with such a joyous pop song.

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