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Thread: PJ Harvey Confession

  1. #1
    Sleeps to dream entropy's Avatar
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    PJ Harvey Confession

    I was a HUGE fan of Rid of Me back in 1993-94. When To Bring Me Your Love came out, I didn't like it. I stopped following PJ Harvey. Later, I listened to "This is Love" from a Kevin Smith soundtrack. I liked it but not really enough to fall back in love with PJ Harvey. Fast forward some 10 years...Because she was popping up a lot on people's top four list, I thought I would pull up her catalog on iTunes. I was lukewarm about a lot until I got to Let England Shake. I'm on the verge of buying the album.

    If I wanted to have a go at her back catalog, where should I start? I loved Rid of Me so much that I bought it on tape and CD. Back then, I only had a tape player in my car. She really lost me with To Bring Me Your Love. Reading, I discovered that PJ doesn't like to repeat herself. I give her much respect for that. Reinvention? Sort of the like the Madonna of the Alt music world.

  2. #2
    megaphone to my chest MikeEP's Avatar
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    well you could revisit To Bring You My Love, which i think is definitely one of her best, but otherwise i'd suggest her next one, Is This Desire? this was the lead single:


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    Militia of the Mind toriMODE's Avatar
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    If you love Rid of Me so much then you will love 4 Track Demos even more! What about To Bring You My Love did you not like?

    Besides 4 Track Demos, if you really like to hear her rock out, I think you might dig Uh Huh Her.

    Is This Desire has more electronic elements to it, and it's a fairly dark album, and just happens to be my favorite. It's very poetic.

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    Sleeps to dream entropy's Avatar
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    I think To Bring You My Love was just such a radical shift away from Rid of Me. Back then I was 18 and wanted my music to rock with good lyrics. TBYML was just so poppy.

  5. #5
    Militia of the Mind toriMODE's Avatar
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    That's funny because I've never thought of the album being poppy. It's always come off as very dark and rustic for me.

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    'twas mbc 'twas kollins Michael Michael's Avatar
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    dp.
    Last edited by Michael Michael; 05-24-2013 at 07:22 PM.

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    'twas mbc 'twas kollins Michael Michael's Avatar
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    If Let England Shake is what tempted you back to the fold, you should definitely check out White Chalk.

    TBYML is definitely worth a revisit, though. It's generally considered one of her career highlights. I mean if

    I . . .wanted my music to rock with good lyrics
    then


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    White Chalk is the one PJ Harvey album that I really unabashedly love. The melodies are magnificent.

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    Sleeps to dream entropy's Avatar
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    I'm sensing that I need to revisit TBYML. I will openly admit my mind and musical taste were much narrower back then!

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    come out and level up Waylon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by entropy View Post
    I'm sensing that I need to revisit TBYML. I will openly admit my mind and musical taste were much narrower back then!
    Definitely give it a try, either with good headphones or nice and loud on good speakers. It's quite dynamic and chilling...even with only ten tracks, it's quite a tour de force!
    Sometimes I think the so-called "experts" actually are experts.

  11. #11
    Give Dry a listen for something closer to Rid of Me. Its hard to suggest ones based on your love of Rid of Me because she really doesn't repeat herself much. All the albums are pretty varied.
    If you have time and want to soak it all in, than Is This Desire? or White Chalk are excellent choices.
    If you want more theatrics= To Bring You My Love (this is the album that most people who don't know/follow her tend to like the most in my experience.)
    Pop-rock, go with Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea or Uh Huh Her.
    Also, her B-sides are just as good (some better than) as her released material. Her collabs with John Parish are good too, but I'd hold off on those till you get into her own catalog more.

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    Member natural high's Avatar
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    A Woman A Man Walked By

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    Florence is not your bitch. Steve SFM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew View Post
    White Chalk is the one PJ Harvey album that I really unabashedly love. The melodies are magnificent.
    Strangely enough, that's the only one I don't really like. But it's worth checking out, because most PJ fans disagree with me.

    Is This Desire? would definitely be my first choice, as that and Let England Shake are IMO the peaks of her career. But honestly, I advice you to check out two or three tracks from every album. That will give you a good sense of each individual album.

    And don't forget the John Parish collaborations. A Woman A Man Walked By is fucked up art punk, which may not be to your liking but definitely is to mine. Dance Hall at Louse Point is more meditative - except, of course, for Taut. Listen to that with the lights on.

    Have fun!

  14. #14
    discord ebby's Avatar
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    For all her efforts to make her next record very un-PJ Harvey like with each new album, I think White Chalk is where she achieved that most magnificently.
    It is as wildly different from Dry and Rid Of Me as she has ever done, and furthest removed from the public perception of PJ Harvey the rock chick with the guitar. Yet it still manages to be so identifiable as very much in her music world, particularly when you look at some of the moodier or darker ballads in her career.

    Is it a good introduction to her output? I think any of her albums is a good introduction to be honest, as each has contrasting moments which are sort of links to other albums in her output. But I would say, don't expect any record to be like one of the other ones, or to give you something similar. There might be similar moments, but she really does explore different combinations of timbres and sounds on each record and I think that's where you see her songwriting changing more than anywhere else.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Baltic's Avatar
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    My first PJ albums were 4-track Demos and Dance Hall...and I agree, that had I listened to any of the others, I'd be equally enamoured. I chose 4track first because I loved the cover and Dance Hall because it was the least expensive
    "The only time I get in that position is when I give birth." - Dorothy Zbornak

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