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Pulp
WE LOVE LIFE
(SANCTUARY/ROUGH TRADE)

Stars graphics

Pulpís seventh album (and the last for a while, as the band have gone on indefinite hiatus) is a moody affair. The tongue-in-cheek title only hints at the darkened corners of the pop landscape the band explored on their previous release, This Is Hardcore, where the decay of modern humanity was a prominent theme. We Love Life continues that journey, and it offers some of Pulpís most mature songs. "Weeds," which tackles class struggle, "Wickerman," which examines urban blight while allowing a few rays of hopeful light to pierce singer Jarvis Cockerís dreary observations, and the wry "Sunrise" are full of cutting, cynical lyrics and the lush layers of melody that have helped keep the bandís Britpop kitsch respectable for more than a decade.

But the number of caustic and cautionary tales comes close to being overwhelming, as does the downbeat tone of Pulpís pop. We Love Life has nothing that comes close to the bandís only stab at a Stateside hit ó "Common People." In fact, the discís tales of lost love, murder, and class struggle spread out like a polluted river over tempos that ooze rather than flow. Only "The Night That Minnie Timberley Died" and "Bob Lind (The Only Way Is Down)" are upbeat enough to offset the weight of We Love Life, which sounds like an album by a band who need to take a little time off.

BY JOHN LEFLER

Issue Date: October 31 - November 7, 2002
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