Post Britpop Depression Part I out of III.
Pulp – “This Is Hardcore“ – 1998
In this limited series, I will sequentially review records released by the three most famous bands of the so-called BritPop movement. However, rather than choosing their most famous albums, I thought it would be more interesting and rewarding to pick up an album they did after the peak of their popularity. Originally from Sheffield and very much associated with the personality and charisma of their leader Jarvis Cocker, ‘This Is Hardcore‘ was Pulp‘s sixth album. One has to remember that the band struggled for close to ten years with virtually no success before surfing on the BritPop wave and basically becoming one of the most popular British bands ever, in particular with their ”Common People” anthem (and indeed what a great song this is…)
While still retaining its pop appeal and sense of melody, ‘This Is Hardcore‘ was a totally different story vs. their previous releases. That was the album through which Jarvis Cocker exposed more than ever his doubts and frustrations about success and the music industry. The best numbers are indeed very long and claustrophobic tracks, playing on repetitive sounds and obsessive lyrics, like opener “The Fear“, 8-minute plus “Seductive Barry” (enhanced by Neneh Cherry‘s beautiful voice) and the fantastic title track “This Is Hardcore“. This is not an easy record overall but it will probably never age and it could really have been released anytime. Interesting also to note (and enjoy!) David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen‘s influences respectively in “Party Hard” and “Glory Days“.
Format: CD Bought in: 1998 To be noted: I was living in Brazil when the record was released; there was no Spotify and not much choice locally at the time so thanks again to those who visited us with a bunch of ordered CD’s! Rating: 8.5/10