Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Memories of a failed relationship dart in and out of the songs on Pulp’s last album. The subject receives its most concentrated and most pained airing in “Roadkill.” The imagery here is devastatingly personal, with Jarvis lingering on the most mundane of memories: “The pale blue nightdress,” “A subway token from your ma,” “The way you drove your car.” These incredibly trivial things suddenly bear unbearable weight, and it is Jarvis’ peculiar genius that he takes this pretty shopworn theme and makes it so palpable, so full of raw feeling. And, oh yeah, if the song wasn’t depressing enough, he throws in an image of a dead deer in the road, just so you’re sure what single life feels like to him. The band accompanies him with the album’s sparsest arrangement, and the skeletal guitar lines and ambient backgrounds are deeply apt.

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