Apparently, only two of the three tracks on which Jarvis sings on the new Harry Potter soundtrack were actually written by him. Guessing which two is something of a tricky game, because there's something distinctively Pulp about all three, even apart from Jarvis' (slower, rockier, older) voice.
First up, and the one that's circulating widely around t'internet, The Night. The music is a darker repeated stretch of Franz Ferdinand's Take Me Out, specifically substituting classic Pulp lyrics on a Potter theme, so that "I say don't you know / You say you don't know / I say Take Me Out" becomes "So take your hands off me / tonight I'm breaking free / This is the night". Apart from that it's got all the classic sounds of what made early Pulp sound dark and just right for Harry Potter - pitched somewhere between Masters of the Universe and The Mark of the Devil. On the other hand, it's got some of the sound of Jarvis' later work - Relaxed Muscle fans may hear more than mere echoes of 3way accumulator. It suffers a little from being an in-between song, it would be difficult to dance to (though I'm more than willing to have a try), but it's not one of the pure lyrical numbers either. Expect protests about it being filthy. I don't care, it's Jarvis, singing something properly, for the first time in ages.
Secondly, and here I don't have such a good recording, favourite for not being written by Jarvis, disco-comedy song Do The Hippogriff. While it's the most likely not be Jarvis' work, there are some trademarks. The straight noise intro like Do You Remember The First Time or Razamatazz, only a straight shout, which sounds like a song I can't place at all, and dig for a while to discover is We Are The Boys from Velvet Goldmine. Once I've figured that out there are other similarities in the song - though the latter isn't introduced with Jarvis shouting "Alright Hogwarts! Are you ready for some real music?". It's supremely silly. The lyrics aren't overwhelmingly Jarvis, which is what makes it possible he didn't write it, but someone's shoved in the "ma ma ma ma ma ma ma" that only Jarvis can do. As to the lyrics, well... "I spin around like a crazy elf / dancing by himself / I boogie down like a unicorn / I won't stop until the break of dawn". You get the idea.
Finally, and I will eat my ears if Jarvis didn't write this, Magic Works. The title's a bad start, sounds dangerously like some sort of Disney love song. Well, don't panic, but there's more than a bit of that in the music too... soft intro; "This one's going out to to all the lovers out there. Hold each other tight, and keep each other warm". But of course it's not slushy rubbish, it's Jarvis, and the sentimental sweeping orchestration belies something darker behind the words. It's classic early or late Pulp, somewhere between She's a Lady and I Want You, probably closer to the latter. It bears a remarkable resemblance to unreleased track The Quiet Revolution and brings a tear to the eye, but then it's me, so what doesn't? Oh yeah, real life. What would be soppy and trite from Dido is haunting and layered with meaning, at least for those of us whose emotional adolescence was soundtracked by Jarvis, from teenage fumblings to His'N'Hers, through drunken sixth form nights to Different Class, to post-university disorientation with We Love Life.
"And dance ... Your final dance / This is ... Your final chance / To hold ... The one you love / You know you've waited ... long enough / So believe ... that magic works"
Well quite. Those who strictly liked Different Class only won't see anything in this to make them optimistic about the rumoured 2006 Jarvis solo album. Long-standing Jarvis-lovers will be glad that, whatever it is, he's still got it, somewhere, and many will be relieved that Relaxed Muscle was an experiment, not a whole new direction.