JARV IS... - Beyond the Pale
Critic Score
Based on 25 reviews
2020 Ratings: #85 / 846
User Score
Based on 220 ratings
2020 Ratings: #732
Liked by 12 people
Sign In to rate and review


Q Magazine
At its untethered, untidy best, it shows Cocker dropping in to see what condition the human condition is in and finding it in a state of wild flux. Far out, yes, but almost too close for comfort.
The Arts Desk
Within this very album – brief though it is (seven songs, 40 minutes) and long overdue (the band started working on the material in 2013) – are some exceptional titbits. Both thought provoking and merry making.
The Telegraph

Beyond the Pale is the best thing Cocker has done since Pulp, and that is very good indeed.


This record — Cocker's finest work since This Is Hardcore, maybe — marks the arrival of an adventurous collective who might just be getting warmed up.

Pushing nearly 30 years in the game, JARV IS… still an absolute one-of-a-kind.
Not one to rehash old sounds, the musician has crafted a wonderfully groove-driven and dance-worthy album whilst still maintaining the warped songwriting style that he has become synonymous with.

Judging by Beyond the Pale, his best album in years, Cocker is one of those confounding frontman who appear to dominate bands but struggle on their own.


‘Beyond The Pale’ is a cracking addition to the Cocker canon, bursting with that Pulp knack for nerdy melodrama and primed for the dancefloor.


‘Beyond The Pale’ is seven tracks is timeless and timely genius from the finger-wagging Sheffield frontman, matching his lyrical wit to a series of fantastic arrangements, touching upon everything from Leonard Cohen documentaries to the lingering attractions of rave culture.

Northern Transmissions
It is experimental and literate while also being fun, satisfying and a wonderful addition to Cocker’s entire musical oeuvre.
It’s a little bit silly, a little bit raunchy and a whole lot of fun – something the world is in desperately short supply of. Simply put, JARV IS… a winner.
Record Collector

Right now, as we all tap our feet – nervously, impatiently, wondering what new rhythms our lives will have to adapt to – Beyond the Pale offers a light in the darkness.

FLOOD Magazine

Beyond the Pale feels tight, tense, yet free, with pasty Cocker as this debut album’s broodingly bittersweet yet (somewhat) gleeful centerpiece joining together with his ensemble for a ring of rare design.

The Observer
The ex-Pulp frontman’s pell-mell search for connection – with our ancestors, our ageing selves and each other – is a pulsating, sleazy treat.
Under The Radar
It’s testament to Jarvis Cocker’s legacy that, in 2020, he’s bringing out a record that people will have to sleep on before forming an opinion.

While it may be far from a perfect album, Beyond the Pale is a satisfying offering from Cocker and his new JARV IS... project. The album's themes, along with the complete embrace of art rock stylings, make this far from a retread of his previous musical endeavours and a worthy listen for Jarvis Cocker fans.

No Ripcord
Despite its slightly misfiring concept, Beyond The Pale remains an enjoyable hour spent inside the world of one of Britain’s most revered songwriters—even if you're never quite sure what your host was meant to be showing you.
The debut album from the Pulp frontman’s new band uses a novel approach to recording that aims for the wild abandon of live music but only occasionally reaches it.

Wow, huge disagreement between critics and users! this is always an interesting ground.

Disclaimer - I am a big Pulp fan and I think they recorded the best songs from the whole brit pop movement (I do love blur and Oasis too, but Pulp is Pulp).

Let's review this by parts.

The Concept –
The idea was to take some live recordings and add overdubs in top of them in order the make some kind of mix between the rawness of the lives albums and the neatness of the studio records. As an ... read more


Genre: Art Rock

How the hell did this completly unknown band get a must here? *Slams keyboard* ah it's Pulp. I like Pulp!

These lyrics sound like if Bob Dylan was a teenage girl. Talking about being born a harmony in a world of melodies 😔 and tapping his toes with the devil 🔗🥀🔪🩸.

Regardless, even ignoring the VERY 90s style sound of this album you still have your standout moments. Such as the last two minutes of "Am I Missing Something" which is just....goddamn ... read more


Cover art says it all - unmemorable.

Jarv is...built on shaky foundations, NR


Biggest (positive) surprise this year




Well, I don't care who Jarv is (everybody knows), I don't care what's behind the pale. I don't care about the way it was recorded, I don't care about the all that fuss...
All I know is that I enjoyed this album, much, pretty much and I listened to it five times in a row and that's something that I care!

Purchasing Beyond the Pale from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?
Become a Donor
Donor badge, no ads + more benefits.

Track List

  1. Save the Whale
  2. Must I Evolve?
  3. Am I Missing Something?
  4. House Music All Night Long
  5. Sometimes I Am Pharoah
  6. Swanky Modes
  7. Children of the Echo
Sign in to comment

Added on: March 2, 2020