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PJ Harvey|Uh Huh Her - Demos (Demo)

Uh Huh Her - Demos (Demo)

PJ Harvey

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After the meticulously crafted Is This Desire? and Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, PJ Harvey opted for a more spontaneous sound on 2004's Uh Huh Her, an approach that's even more evident on Uh Huh Her: The Demos. At nine songs long, this is a smaller collection than some of her previous demo collections -- true to Harvey's goal, several Uh Huh Her tracks were written while recording -- but many of the album's finest moments are present and accounted for. Chief among them is "Shame," which is just as stunning in this minimalist version that showcases her spellbinding songwriting and singing (at one point, she almost sobs the chorus) as it was on the finished album. Interestingly, several of these sketches sound more like typical demos than Harvey's initial recordings for her other albums. They're not sloppy, but they give the impression that she got the songs down on tape just well enough to use as a starting point. Her vocals are deep in the red on "The Life and Death of Mr. Bigmouth," and the cheap, hissy drum machine backing her outbursts on "Who the Fuck?" brings out the playfulness behind the song's catharsis. These looser performances reflect how fundamental not overworking or overthinking her ideas was to Uh Huh Her's creative process, especially since this was the first album Harvey produced on her own since 1993's 4-Track Demos. And while the album's louder tracks remain highlights on Uh Huh Her: The Demos -- the sensuality of "The Letter" and "It's You" sounds even more uninhibited -- its quieter songs also hold their own. The beautiful Western ballad "The Desperate Kingdom of Love" shines in its simplicity here, while stripped-down renditions of "The Slow Drug" and "The Pocket Knife" reveal their respective ties to Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea and White Chalk. Filled with details and connections that will fascinate die-hard fans and recording geeks, Uh Huh Her: The Demos is just as compelling as the larger volumes in Harvey's archival demos series, and makes a case that Uh Huh Her is one of the more underappreciated albums in her discography.
© Heather Phares /TiVo

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Uh Huh Her - Demos (Demo)

PJ Harvey

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1
The Life And Death Of Mr. Badmouth (Demo)
00:04:54

Head, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - PJ Harvey, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Jason Mitchell, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sumit Bothra, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2021 PJ Harvey

2
Shame (Demo)
00:02:34

Head, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - PJ Harvey, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Jason Mitchell, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sumit Bothra, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2021 PJ Harvey

3
Who The Fuck? (Demo)
00:02:16

Head, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - PJ Harvey, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Jason Mitchell, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sumit Bothra, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2021 PJ Harvey

4
The Pocket Knife (Demo)
00:03:42

Head, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - PJ Harvey, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Jason Mitchell, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sumit Bothra, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2021 PJ Harvey

5
The Letter (Demo)
00:03:23

Head, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - PJ Harvey, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Jason Mitchell, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sumit Bothra, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2021 PJ Harvey

6
The Slow Drug (Demo)
00:03:19

Head, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - PJ Harvey, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Jason Mitchell, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sumit Bothra, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2021 PJ Harvey

7
It's You (Demo)
00:03:43

Head, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - PJ Harvey, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Jason Mitchell, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sumit Bothra, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2021 PJ Harvey

8
The Desperate Kingdom Of Love (Demo)
00:02:41

Head, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - PJ Harvey, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Jason Mitchell, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sumit Bothra, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2021 PJ Harvey

9
The Darker Days Of Me & Him (Demo)
00:04:33

Head, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - PJ Harvey, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Jason Mitchell, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sumit Bothra, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2021 PJ Harvey

Album Description

After the meticulously crafted Is This Desire? and Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, PJ Harvey opted for a more spontaneous sound on 2004's Uh Huh Her, an approach that's even more evident on Uh Huh Her: The Demos. At nine songs long, this is a smaller collection than some of her previous demo collections -- true to Harvey's goal, several Uh Huh Her tracks were written while recording -- but many of the album's finest moments are present and accounted for. Chief among them is "Shame," which is just as stunning in this minimalist version that showcases her spellbinding songwriting and singing (at one point, she almost sobs the chorus) as it was on the finished album. Interestingly, several of these sketches sound more like typical demos than Harvey's initial recordings for her other albums. They're not sloppy, but they give the impression that she got the songs down on tape just well enough to use as a starting point. Her vocals are deep in the red on "The Life and Death of Mr. Bigmouth," and the cheap, hissy drum machine backing her outbursts on "Who the Fuck?" brings out the playfulness behind the song's catharsis. These looser performances reflect how fundamental not overworking or overthinking her ideas was to Uh Huh Her's creative process, especially since this was the first album Harvey produced on her own since 1993's 4-Track Demos. And while the album's louder tracks remain highlights on Uh Huh Her: The Demos -- the sensuality of "The Letter" and "It's You" sounds even more uninhibited -- its quieter songs also hold their own. The beautiful Western ballad "The Desperate Kingdom of Love" shines in its simplicity here, while stripped-down renditions of "The Slow Drug" and "The Pocket Knife" reveal their respective ties to Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea and White Chalk. Filled with details and connections that will fascinate die-hard fans and recording geeks, Uh Huh Her: The Demos is just as compelling as the larger volumes in Harvey's archival demos series, and makes a case that Uh Huh Her is one of the more underappreciated albums in her discography.
© Heather Phares /TiVo

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