Thursday, February 28, 2008

This House is Condemned

The final Pulp song to feature a lead vocal from Russell Senior, “This House is Condemned” also represents the band’s most committed attempt at acid house. These two facts seem unrelated, as Russell’s disengaged, stentorian spoken-word track exists on a wholly different planet from the busily computerized music. Imagine New Order if Ian Curtis had lived. They seem to be taking the word “House” rather literally. The storyline is another saga of low-income housing (see also “Mile End” and “Deep Fried in Kelvin”). Rather than try to compete with Jarvis with cuttingly witty observations, Russell gets his point across through repetition. I wouldn’t call this song a failure, but it does definitely end Separations on a note of “whaaa?” Even though the prior three tracks also featured plenty of digitally triggered backing tracks, the song still sticks out of what was otherwise their most fully realized, cohesive album to date.

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