Friday, February 19, 2010

PJ Harvey - "Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea"

Released in late 2000, this cd displays everything you would want from a genius at his/her creative peak. Or, at least, their most accessible. Which isn't always the same thing, but in this case I tend to think it is. Polly Jean Harvey can play that guitar too! Jangly, riff-laden axe work here. And is there anyone that sings with the intensity as PJ Harvey - which is such a jarring shock once you've heard her soft-spoken, thoughtful, reflective, NORMAL, interviews! "I walk on concrete/ I walk on sand/ but I can't find/ a safe place to stand./ but I've got a pistol in my hand." Yikes!!! Highlights include "A Place Called Home," "The Whores Hustle and the Hustlers Whore," and "Good Fortune." I think that, on her other releases, she just tinkers too much with experimentation and gets bogged down with just weird, gothic sounds and imagery that just many times leaves the listener saying "WTF?" But even Picasso's doodlings on a post card we would treasure, and so it is with PJ. I guess all I'm saying is that, if you're new to her, start here. It honestly doesn't get any better, and is most definitely in my top 10 cd's of 2000-2009. Excellent. 8.7 out of 10.

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