Most helpful positive review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2007
Uncomfortable is probably the best word to describe this album. It's not always an easy listen, the sonics of the production tend towards the treble on a great deal of the songs and gone is the shimmering pop sheen of A Different Class (which to be honest I think was overrated, His 'n' Hers being a "purer" version of the same ideas.) It's really worth getting hold of some of the singles from around this time as the b-sides such as The Professional, Champagne Socialism and Ladies Man are better than some of the songs on here and really spell out Jarvis' dissillusion and dissenchantment with the pop world he had spent so long trying to enter. There are times on this album when you feel Jarvis whispering in your ear and it so often sounds like a broken man crying for help but feeling strangled. It's not pleasant but it's definitely more soulful than the formulaic work they had started to produce in the wake of Britpop. Musically, despite what the other reviewers say, I think that Pulp changed completely with this album and never returned to anything approaching their previous sound. The songs are generally much slower, rockier in a more traditional sense, with Bruce Springsteen and Elvis being evoked throughout the album in the guitar and vocal work. It feels as though they were consciously trying to escape everything that they felt was expected of them, regardless of the results, which is why some songs don't really work. The following album saw them relax a bit more into the new territory they were charting for themselves but this definitely felt like we were losing them and that's why it's such a great album. It's a bit like The Stone Roses' Second Coming, ironically, as Pulp made a leap up the ladder on the back of The Roses disintegration. You won't listen to it everyday but it's worth a spin if you're in the right mood.