JARV IS… / This Is Going To Hurt (Original Soundtrack)

JARV IS…’s soundtrack for the excellent BBC television series ‘This Is Going To Hurt’ stands out first because there are many pieces with voice: beyond the expected main theme, there are plenty of pieces in which the veteran singer of Pulp displays his ability with words.

The other striking feature is the textures of the songs, much more organic than in ‘Beyond The Pale’ (there are hardly any synthesizers, everything sounds more like classic pop). Both aspects help the music fit into this drama with drops of humor (mostly black) divided into seven chapters: the classicism of the arrangements, often orchestrated, successfully connects with the tradition of the soundtrack, and the vocal pieces have the transcendence expected in an author celebrated for his vignettes about everyday life, between trauma and sarcasm.

But the great news is that, beyond the series, we are facing an album with its own and sufficient entity, some songs that can be enjoyed independently and do not remain in a footnote, but will remain as an important piece of the discography. of the new Cocker gang.

The instrumental passages evoke an interesting range of moods, always with good mini-melodies or successful motifs. Thus, ‘Visiting Hours’, with its minimal piano, almost silent, contributes a lot in scenes of stillness and emptiness. Or the nervous rhythm of ‘Dark Wave’, which works especially well in several frenetic moments of the series. ‘Shruti’, one of the most beautiful pieces, is ideal for those slightly depressing night shots of hospital wards, gray London skies and the protagonist’s dilapidated car. ‘Difficult C Section’ provides perfect pianos and strings for the spiral of remorse over a medical error that serves as the backbone of the story.

For their part, the vocal pieces provide perhaps the most valuable part of the album: like ‘Adam’s Nightmare’, one of the best moments of the album that makes one think of how well Jarvis took advantage of recording that ‘Chansons d’ennui’ last year after All in all, an uninteresting album due to the faithfulness of its recreations of classic French pop, but which seems to have influenced this song steeped in instrumental drama and restrained vocal performance, with brilliant 60s orchestration. For its part, ‘This Is Going To Hurt’ makes excellent use of the double meaning of physical/emotional pain in a song with a beautiful melody and classic Cockerian lyrical “plot twist”: “This is going to hurt… me more than you”.

The lyrics tend to be concise, which in such a narrative and personal lyricist can shock, but Cocker does well to keep that simplicity, after all it is music to accompany a story that he does not dictate. and in spite of everything, parsimony works very well in the form of small messages that enclose a lot, as in the simple, almost mantric “wake up” from ‘Adam’s Nightmare’, or in that “Another day, another death” from the brilliant ‘Just Another One Of Those Days’.

In the moments in which the lyrics extend further, we find ourselves before songs that already pass into the canon of the best of Jarvis Cocker’s entire career. A perfect example is ‘Fuck This’, an impeccable pop piece with brilliant melodies (as well as a particularly masterful example of Jarvis’ mastery of pauses). With its atmospheric echo and evocative violin line, creating an atmosphere between reality and dream, the song plays host to a lapidary lyric of surrender: “Everything sucks, everything is broken so fuck everything / I tried and lost, and everything costs, so to hell with everything / It’s raining money, it’s raining buckets / So I’m going to change my allegiance, I’m going over sides / Because only idiots have principles. It is not strange that in episode 6 of the series there is a whole sequence -on the perverseness of private healthcare- mounted around this great song.

Also in ‘Dare to Love’ (voiced more Leonard Cohen than ever) Jarvis gets room to expand on a piece that reflects Dr. Adam Kay’s romantic difficulties with boyfriend Harry. Verses like “you insist on sending me smoke signals when a text message would suffice… tell me when are you going to dare to share, to love”, and a phrase that brilliantly sums up the central knot of the series follow a beautiful melancholy pop piece. : “You want to save a life, but why don’t you start with your own?”

Based on the good result of this ‘This Is Going To Hurt’, it seems that Jarvis has found his particular Warren Ellis in Serafina Steer: in the credits of the series the songs appear as composed by the two, and she has always been the most interesting of that wonderful group of rare musicians that make up JARV IS… I hope more soundtracks like this from the hand of both in the future, or any other project of the band, a space in which Cocker has found the ideal place to continue creating with renewed inspiration, on the verge of becoming a sixty-year-old in 2023.