Monday, August 6, 2007

Can I Have My Balls Back, Please?

The title’s hard to beat, that’s for sure. Think of this catchy but dolorous song – which never got past the demo stage – as Pulp’s contribution to the wonderful world of mope-pop. Jarvis doesn’t do much more than repeat the title… but can you blame him? He also makes a vague reference to Christmas of 1997, which he spent in the throes of a nervous breakdown in a luxury hotel in New York City.

In the liner notes to the This Is Hardcore reissue, he uses the song to make a point of Pulp’s disconnect from at least one of their peers. “Some people buy a Mellotron and write OK Computer, we bought one and wrote this.” Sure, “Can I Have My Balls Back, Please?” is a bit of a throwaway, but at least the band committed to even give their throwaways some cockeyed wit. And it’s nice to hear the band in a fairly relaxed performance mode, compared to the heavy, labored sound of Hardcore.

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