Thursday, August 9, 2007

Love is Blind

The best opening track on a Pulp album, “Love is Blind” begins with a yelp from Jarvis over thudding, tribal drum beats. As mentioned before, the band at this point has not wholly integrated itself in a studio setting. Nevertheless, this song announces something, that this is a band with a renewed purpose. The tight, no-frills rhythm section compliments the melodramatic keyboards and call-and-response between guitar and violin. The music gives Jarvis’ romantic and urban angst a new, electric urgency it never really had before. You can almost believe that the fate in the world is indeed in the hands of these hopeless lovers commiserating together one dreary morning.

Many songs on Separations are driven by, if not obsessed with, a sense of time running out. The ten-or-so years of musical struggle had really taken their toll by this point. But Pulp don’t sound defeated here; they’ve instead managed to rally themselves for their latest last chance.

Jarvis’ spoken monologue in the third verse is really something (“We held hands, and we looked out of the bedroom window. We could see the buildings collapsing around us. So we kissed, and we laid on the bed, and we waited for the ceiling to fall in…”). It excuses the clumsy metaphor he follows it with, as he frantically curses a “butcher” who eats lovers. What?

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