Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Blue Girls

In the midst of the sweet, naïve emotions of the It album comes this bombshell, a decidedly morbid piano ballad, with Jarvis crooning eerily about girls who sun-tan themselves to death. “These girls you have loved/are slowly decaying now/Drying out in the sun.” Nothing – not the gentle female backing vocals (including Jarvis’ sister Saskia), not even the jazz flute solo – makes the song any less uneasy, and that’s a good thing. The language here is first-rate, if a little oppressive at times. Many of the pieces of Jarvis’ lyrical voice – his empathy, his morbidity – were in place this early in Pulp’s career. It just took a while for him to meld them convincingly, and to add the all-important sense of humor.

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