Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker likes to have a laugh. At his expense, at yours, at life itself. Whether it’s tragedy turning to farce or his youth getting old, Cocker sees something in the transformation that makes for engaging cinema. As the leader of Pulp, he’s determined to wring the full entertainment value out of the situation with mannerisms that send things over the top. “I’m not Jesus, though I’ve got the same initials,” he sings with a wink, “I am the man who stays home and does the dishes.” 1998’s This is Hardcore was considered a bit of a comedown after the ebullient pop and social class study of 1995’s Different Class, but it’s a matter of texture and expectation. This is Hardcore is the darker, more confused album. How does a young pop star deal with the fact that getting what you want doesn’t guarantee satisfaction? With music that borrows from early Roxy Music, Mott the Hoople and the Kinks, Pulp celebrate their British roots in style. There’s an epic grandeur to “The Fear,” a quiet desperation to “Help the Aged,” “Seductive Barry” and “A Little Soul,” and a hip, knowing confident leer to “I’m a Man” that made the group one of Britain’s true bright spots in the 1990s.