A mildly overlooked one of Pulp’s from their breakthrough 1994 LP His ‘N’ Hers, ‘Pink Glove’ is a track oozing with Cocker’s iconic brand of alluring sleaziness, carried by the silkiest and most piercing of synths. Playing with the sticky subject of lust-driven jealousy centred around an ex-lover, it puts us in the uncomfortable shoes of a voyeuristic ‘man on the sidelines’ who seems to both rue the loss of his former flame and despise her new, seedy companion in equal measure.
There’s a very strong undertone of sexual frustration and social inadequacy throughout (“I know you think I’ve got to be joking/ but if you touch him again then I’m going”), and perhaps the most impressionable section of the song is around the three-minute mark, where Jarvis begins an impassioned plea that ends in a wavering yell filled with what seems to be genuine emotion.
Cleverly, too, the refrain edges closer and closer each time towards the realisation that this woman is never going to return to him, and lays bare the futility of his heartfelt but conceited outpouring of desire.
What truly puts the icing on Pink Glove, however, is Candida Doyle’s mastering of pure-yet-layered synthesisers that adeptly harmonise as well as providing a perfect, fitting melody, and these come into their own better here than almost any other Pulp song.
Words by Benedict Tetzlaff Deas
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