BCB 100 - PJ Harvey

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geoffcowgill
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BCB 100 - PJ Harvey

Postby geoffcowgill » 17 Jun 2006, 16:14

The New Yorker had an article about her seven years ago or so claiming she was the only female blues musician of note recording at that time. And this was right after Is This Desire came out, probably her least gritty/bluesy album. The thing is, there are few talents as singular, dynamic, and gripping as hers to emerge in the last fifteen years. She's an excellent lyricist and an arresting singer and guitarist. She's brutally direct, but also capable of brilliant, literate poetics in her songs. You take all of the great female singer/songwriters in rock, Patti Smith, Chrissie Hynde, Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush (I guess), roll 'em together and there's PJ Harvey. But she doesn't sound like a hybrid of influences. She's sui generis.

I don't think she's improved on her debut. Everything to follow has been interesting at the least, but Dry has some of her best songs and is the perfect introduction. Now if only it would get remastered and punched-up a bit. My CD is too quiet, especially for something released after 1990.

"Sheela Na Gig" is superb, but I'm going to suggest the 4-Track Demos version of "Yuri G" as her best song. It's one of the best songs about obsession I've ever heard. The sheer originality and perversity of the imagery and metaphors is astounding and the spooky fragility of the singing and playing that builds up into derangement and abandon by the end makes for one of the most singular songs and performances I've ever encountered.

Favorite Album- Dry

Favorite Song- "Yuri G"

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Re: BCB 100 - PJ Harvey

Postby Bungo the Mungo » 17 Jun 2006, 16:40

geoffcowgill wrote:I don't think she's improved on her debut. Everything to follow has been interesting at the least, but Dry has some of her best songs and is the perfect introduction. Now if only it would get remastered and punched-up a bit. My CD is too quiet, especially for something released after 1990.


Agreed on every point.

I'm not keen on her these days, tho'. She forces the eccentric artist card a little too much. When I first heard the collaboration with John Parish, it was apparent she desperately wanted to be seen as a mad woman. But she shops at Sainsbury's and blushes when she swears.

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Postby This Was » 17 Jun 2006, 20:29

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Postby Penk! » 17 Jun 2006, 20:35

She's an artist who I've liked when I've heard her, but for some reason have never actually followed up that interest by buying an album or anything. I might have to try downloading one now.
Actually the same goes for Neil Young, today's other choice. I have a couple of albums on mp3 but haven't listened to them despite liking the songs of his that I do know.
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Postby This Was » 17 Jun 2006, 21:11

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The Modernist

Postby The Modernist » 17 Jun 2006, 22:56

A "hybrid of influences" is exactly how I've always seen her. She particularly takes a lot from Nick Cave with that whole southern gothic stuff .
She always seemed a walking cliche to me adding nothing of her own.

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Postby toomanyhatz » 18 Jun 2006, 07:32

I'm not a big fan, but Stories... is actually my favorite. The rest just seems too intentionally atonal/weird for its own sake to me. I find that kind of stuff boring, but once you can hear the song structures (maybe because it's a little slick, but only by her standards- if Madonna did a record like it, everyone would praise it to the heavens for its rawness) it's easier to hear that she has some skill as a lyricist and melodist. I like every song on it, really, but maybe "The Whores Hustle and the Hustlers Whore" is my favorite.
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Postby The Red Heifer » 18 Jun 2006, 07:47

I like "Stories..." the best as well. Sounds very wide eyed to me, and I like that.

"Big Exit" is probably my fave, although the single "Good Fortune" is also a fantastically optimistic song :)
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Postby Bungo the Mungo » 18 Jun 2006, 11:26

The Red Heifer wrote:I like "Stories..." the best as well. Sounds very wide eyed to me, and I like that.

"Big Exit" is probably my fave, although the single "Good Fortune" is also a fantastically optimistic song :)


Aye! She found the last great unused guitar riff for that one, too. No mean feat. Good song.

I've been dying to ask - don't want to drag the thread down, like, but - is she cute? Could never quite tell....

The Modernist

Postby The Modernist » 18 Jun 2006, 11:28

the name is Coan wrote:I've been dying to ask - don't want to drag the thread down, like, but - is she cute? Could never quite tell....


I used to think she was, but she did get way too thin at one stage, almost anorexic.

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Postby The Red Heifer » 18 Jun 2006, 11:29

the name is Coan wrote:I've been dying to ask - don't want to drag the thread down, like, but - is she cute? Could never quite tell....


Looks cute from some angles. Looks not cute from others. Just depends on where the nose is in relation to the camera.
Wadesmith wrote:Why is it that when there's a 'What do you think of this?' post, it's always absolute cobblers?

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Postby This Was » 18 Jun 2006, 11:49

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Postby Clay Davis » 18 Jun 2006, 14:18

I think she's great, and cute....

My favourite album is Rid of Me. It's a bit more realised than Dry and has more good songs. Each of her album upto Stories... brings something a bit different as well. Stories.... is probably me least favourite but good Fortune could be my favorite PJ song and Uh Huh Her is a bit of a return to form..... She's excellent live as well
Sheeeiiiit

The Modernist

Postby The Modernist » 18 Jun 2006, 16:49

did anyone give a cogent argument for her inclusion in the hundred in the first place?
She's the kind of artist you could scrub from the history of popular music and no one would notice.

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Postby Bungo the Mungo » 18 Jun 2006, 17:11

The Unique Modernist! wrote:did anyone give a cogent argument for her inclusion in the hundred in the first place?
She's the kind of artist you could scrub from the history of popular music and no one would notice.


True enough. Everything she's done is after-the-fact.

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Postby This Was » 18 Jun 2006, 18:05

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Postby geoffcowgill » 18 Jun 2006, 23:07

She's just fucking great, ok? Who cares if she's cutting edge, influential, 'important', etc?

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Postby Bungo the Mungo » 18 Jun 2006, 23:38

geoffcowgill wrote:She's just fucking great, ok? Who cares if she's cutting edge, influential, 'important', etc?


JAYSUS!

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Postby & » 19 Jun 2006, 03:43

It's not like the history of pop music is over and done with though.
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Postby Penk! » 19 Jun 2006, 12:13

The Unique Modernist! wrote:She particularly takes a lot from Nick Cave with that whole southern gothic stuff


I had a listen to Dry last night and Cave was the artist I immediately thought of. I enjoyed most of it but it wasn't enormously original, plenty of decent songs though.
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