100 Greatest Albums of the 90’s: #23

Pulp – Different Class

Though countless politicians have said that they want to see a classless society, there will always be a few toffs sniggering gleefully at the oiks they secretly fear and there’ll always be a few oiks slagging off the toffs they secretly envy. Stereotypes they may be, but they’ve never been represented as well as they are in Jarvis Cocker’s lyrics. Same goes for sneaky sexual liaisons, rave culture and blast-from-the-past reunions; he tackles them all like a horny Phillip Larkin. Jarvis (I tend to not refer to him as “Cocker”, funny though that may be) is just exceptional in terms of versatility. In ‘Something Changed’ he’s a romantic obsessed with causality, in ‘Sorted For E’s and Wizz’ he’s a sober-headed normal stuck in a field with 20,000 buzz-brains and in ‘Disco 2000’ he’s the shy guy wooing his childhood crush. A clear highlight is ‘Common People’ which grows slowly from casual chat-up lines to a righteous bile-fountain at toffee-nosed rich folk who think being working class is a something along the lines of a package holiday. It’s all got brilliant wit too; where else would you find a line like “I’ve kissed your mother twice and now I’m working on your dad”? Obviously Cocker’s (tee hee) lyrics are the runaway winners, but the tunes are as catchy and instantly loveable as you could hope for, but they can still slink like a corn snake through KY jelly as well as punch the air in its anthemic climaxes. The addition of keyboards gives them an edge, especially on ‘Sorted…’ which sounds like you’re watching everyone wander from side to side while you eat crisps and wonder what it’s all about.
Listen to: Common People


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