We Love Life is Pulp's "roots" record. If you think that's a contradiction for a band that's made a career on bitter irony, you'd be right. Partially a result of a new guitarist, partly from the bad reception of their last release, This Is Hardcare, Pulp strips down and takes stock: in the English countryside, the solace you can find there ("The Birds in Your Garden"), the scant consolation of the natural order ("Sunrise"). Before you accuse Jarvis Cocker of wearing blinders though, consider that this incisive observer also finds immense decay ("Weeds"), carnage ("The Night that Minnie Riperton Died"), insignificance ("The Trees"), and the sharpest melancholy they've ever limned ("Roadkill"). In other words, with We Love Life, Pulp finds balance, the equilibrium that has eluded them until now. One caveat: next time, guys, keep the spoken recitative to a minimum. -by D. Loughry "Dan Loughry"