You all know by now that I rarely post up my thoughts on newly-released material. TVV is very much a retro-blog or one which reeks of nostalgia rather than looking to be part of the here and now.
This sometimes extends itself into how I go about buying albums. I’m not the greatest at listening to the radio and I no longer buy, on a regular basis, any music monthlies. More often than not, the only way I know that someone has released a new record is if it gets reviewed on the website of The Guardian or I see it mentioned by a fellow blogger, failing which I do get a monthly newsletter from Monorail, one of the indie stores here in Glasgow. Even then, I don’t always rush out to pick up something just because a few critics have provided positive coverage – I’ve had my fingers burned far too many times for that.
So, when lots of folk said that Jarvis Cocker‘s new album in 2020 was a huge return to form, I didn’t pay attention. When a few folk had it in their ‘best of’ lists last December, I did then make an effort to check out some of the promo videos across t’internet. I still didn’t rush out and order the record in these COVID-ravaged times; but a short time ago, when the shops finally did re-open, I decided, on a whim, to add it as the final part of the bundle I was putting together from a browse through the shelves of Monorail.
I was glad that I did, for Beyond The Pale, by Jarv..Is, is a very fine listen, up there with some of the best things he ever did as part of Pulp. I was really surprised as neither of his solo albums in 2006 and 2009 really did it for me, and I was disappointed with the live show he performed in Glasgow back in 2007, when he ended proceedings with a thoroughly underwhelming cover of Sidewalking by the Jesus and Mary Chain. But these seven new tracks really hang well together, and it does seem as if Jarv..Is is really more of a working, breathing band than a lanky singer backed by session musicians.
So….there you are…..the TVV seal of approval to an album, which was released in July 2020, but preceded by the single Must I Evolve as far back as May 2019.
Maybe I should start to pay a bit more attention…..