It’s time for ‘J’ in my A-Z of albums I liked from the noughties. I struggled with this letter for last year’s 90s retrospective but there were no such problems this year. Indeed I had a couple of potential choices but one album from 2006 had selected itself before I even started compiling my list.
J is for Jarvis
In all, Pulp released seven studio albums, spanning almost two decades, but in truth they were pretty synonymous with a brief period in the mid-nineties when British indie bands were very much in fashion and the Britpop phenomenon was at its height. Although they did release one record in the noughties, the rather wonderful We Love Life, they effectively split up in 2002. There have been reunion gigs in more recent years but they haven’t released any new material of note since their seventh album.
Jarvis Cocker hasn’t been idle since the demise of the band though, and has released material in various guises in the ensuing years, most recently the fantastic 2020 album, Beyond the Pale, with his new group Jarv Is…
Although the band appears to be trading rather heavily on their frontman’s forename, it is a group and not a solo act. Jarvis did release solo two albums in the noughties under his own name, with no strange affectations.
The first of those albums was the eponymous Jarvis and while it was not as chart-friendly as Pulp at their peak, it was a more than satisfying fix for those of us that were missing the acerbic observations of his lyrics. A bleakly pessimistic assessment of the state of the nation with enough humour to balance the ire, it may have grown more pertinent with age. Hidden track and cult classic Running The World is profanely irreverent and alarmingly accurate but I’ll leave you with the lead single Don’t Let Him Waste Your time, not least because the video is amusing and demonstrates that while Jarvis is an excellent songwriter, he is an absolutely useless taxi driver.