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Jarvis Cocker Jarvis

As Damon Albarn dabbles in pretentious super-groups and the Gallaghers wallow in boilerplate pub anthems, Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker remains Britpop's true gent, and a razor-sharp wit. Jarvis, his first solo album, finds the affable rogue performing with the perspective, and none of the baggage, of a seasoned artist. Clever observation, though not as much personal engagement, infuses tracks like "Black Magic" and the political "From Auschwitz to Ipswich." Cocker adds details and pathos to finely crafted pop better than most. Decades into a career baptized during the birth pangs of post-punk, he shows more wisdom than wear.

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