Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bob Lind (The Only Way is Down)

The opening riff brings to mind “Show Me” by The Pretenders. But in every other way “Bob Lind” is a song that could only come from Pulp. The buoyant melody and arrangement are supported by a lyric that describe people at their seemingly lowest point – desperate and hopeless. But Jarvis also posits that these moments are when people can “fall in love again.” He drives the point home in the final verse, one of his most nakedly emotional: “When you walked into the room/ I could not breathe, I could not speak.” The lines that follow find Jarvis offering himself wholly and honestly. It’s genuinely touching and not at all sappy, not with lines like “Oh no, I am a fuck-up/ Just the same as you.” The song celebrates fuck-ups, because when you reach that state, you’re more likely to open yourself up.
Bob Lind was a soft-pop singer in the ‘60s. Jarvis explains his connection to the song at the bottom of this page.

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