Monday, August 11, 2008

Wishful Thinking

On Pulp’s first album, this song opens with a simple but brilliantly effective arrangement, as guitar and piano intertwine. “Wishful Thinking” finds Jarvis admitting feelings of loneliness and desire with admirable honesty, if only he had found a more elegant way of expressing them. Here, Jarvis manages to exclaim “It turned me on,” not once but twice, without a trace of the winking lasciviousness he would later master. His constant chorus of “I’ve got this love inside of me,” delivered at a painful pitch alongside one of his most twee melodies, doesn’t help matters. Then there’s the flute solos. And yet, I find this song’s gawky charm endearing. But then, I’m a diehard fan.

Prior to It, an earlier incarnation of Pulp recorded this song for their first Peel Session. In some ways, this is the superior version, with a rickety drum beat and atmospheric synths to give to song some urgency, maybe even something approximating an edge.

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