Masters of the Universe

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Masters of the Universe is a collection of singles that Pulp recorded for Fire Records in the mid-'80s, around the time of the Freaks album. During this time, the band was steeped in the morose obsessions of goth rock, like most of their British indie contemporaries, layering their music with droning synths and dissonant guitars. The group also had a noticibly arty attack -- witness the performance art schlock of Russell Senior's rant "The Will to Power." While that preoccupation with goth and self-conscious art decreases the effectiveness of the music, Masters of the Universe does contain Pulp's first great leaps forward, "Little Girl (With Blue Eyes)" and "Dogs Are Everywhere," which demonstrate Jarvis Cocker's burgeoning lyrical skills and the band's increasing ability to paint evocative soundscapes. ("Silence" was the only non-album song of the era that wasn't included on the compilation.)

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