Actually not Joe Cocker’s son, to dispel a myth that has persisted ever since I developed chest hair. Despite the obnoxious similarities, Jarv’s Dad was a different Cocker and furthermore, Jarv’s Dad bolted early, leaving lil’ Jarv to be raised by mum, a bohemian from Sheffield and coincidentally the mining town setting for the comic hit The Full Monty. Purely a coincidence I swear.
Even though I don’t like the music on this CD very much at all it is a very attractive case featuring an array of fantastic photographs of JC a fantastic man in his own right, who of course once had a band named Pulp, a very good band who did some very good things. They specialised in anthems that succinctly summarised youth culture and all its perversions, hang-ups, come-ups, addictions and comedowns. Cheeky, hook-filled pith. Damn they ruled, and they continue to do so as well. I could easily listen to Babies, Mis-shapes, Party Hard every Saturday night for the remainder of my life and still want just a little more soul. Feel free to not take my word for it, I’d love to be corrected, but the eponymous solo record is a huge disappointment.
Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time is decent enough and straightforward and his voice is always a pleasure. Black Magic steals the tune of a tired 60s number (Crimson and Clover) and has a fairly monstrous kick drum and toothy synth fang. Heavy Weather is a vague rewrite of Different Class’s Something Changed, an encouraging, if slightly pointless development. I Will Kill Again is a more condescending version of Easton Ellis' Patrick Bateman, or something, set to music.
To its discredit, the production on this album is so radio-friendly it sounds like it could be from anyone (not least the guy from Verve), which might be okay if the songs were as catchy as the album’s best and most inspired tune (From Auschwitz to Ipswich), but they’re not and often times the songs sound either laboriously overworked or lazily underworked I can’t tell, so you lean back on the couch, cut your losses while gazing fondly at the swoon-worthy artwork and remind yourself it ain’t Joe Cocker.