Sunday, December 30, 2007

There Was

Tucked away as the b-side to a failed attempt during the ‘80s to sound like Wham called “Everybody’s Problem” lies a beguiling, eerily captivating piece that stands as Jarvis’ first sublime song. A waltz that sounds effortless, yet is quite rhythmically challenging when you really listen, the song also contains some of the most impressive vocal harmonies on a Pulp song, as Jarvis and his sister Saskia create a slow-building round choral that reveals a sudden complexity. The musical backing is a perfectly sparse blend of electric guitar and keyboards. Jarvis sings about an attempt to hold on to last few embers of a fading relationship. As the title indicates, the song is fixated on the past and the need to bring it back. “Don’t let it die away,” he pleads. The music seems to provide the hope he seeks, making this ballad strangely uplifting.

In 2000, “Everybody’s Problem” and “There Was” appeared on the soundtrack to something called Schooldisco, a film regarding which I can little information. But it appears that the soundtrack is still in print, if this is any indication.

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