March 11, 1996 12:00 PM


This hot British sextet has a knack for spinning sharp tales about sophisticated sybarites. “I want to sleep with common people,” a pampered princess announces in one song. On another cut a lothario makes a promise to the object of his affections: “I’ll be around when he’s not in town/ I’ll show you how you do it in Rome.” Pulp’s most infectious efforts seem to gallop headlong from the speakers, barely able to contain their urgency. With his breathless vocal delivery and dandy disposition, foppish frontman Jarvis Cocker nearly makes his most obvious influence, David Bowie in his renowned mod ’60s mode, seem like a paragon of middle-class normalcy. All of this would be dismissable as some arch affectation if Cocker and company didn’t possess the charm and the musical chops to make their vision of high-society-gone-awry so captivating.(Island)

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