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PJ Harvey - Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea

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Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea

PJ Harvey

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During her career, Polly Jean Harvey has had as many incarnations as she has albums. She's gone from the Yeovil art student of her debut Dry, to Rid of Me's punk poetess to To Bring You My Love and Is This Desire?'s postmodern siren; on Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea -- inspired by her stay in New York City and life in the English countryside -- she's changed again. The album cover's stylish, subtly sexy image suggests what its songs confirm: PJ Harvey has grown up. Direct, vulnerable lyrics replace the allegories and metaphors of her previous work, and the album's production polishes the songs instead of obscuring them in noise or studio tricks. On the album's best tracks, such as "Kamikaze" and "This Is Love," a sexy, shouty blues-punk number that features the memorable refrain "I can't believe life is so complex/When I just want to sit here and watch you undress," Harvey sounds sensual and revitalized. The New York influences surface on the glamorous punk rock of "Big Exit" and "Good Fortune," on which Harvey channels both Chrissie Hynde's sexy tough girl and Patti Smith's ferocious yelp. Ballads like the sweetly urgent, piano and marimba-driven "One Line" and the Thom Yorke duet "This Mess We're In" avoid the painful depths of Harvey's darkest songs; "Horses in My Dreams" also reflects Harvey's new emotional balance: "I have pulled myself clear," she sighs, and we believe her. However, "We Float"'s glossy choruses veer close to Lillith Fair territory, and longtime fans can't help but miss the visceral impact of her early work, but Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea doesn't compromise her essential passion. Hopefully, this album's happier, more direct PJ Harvey is a persona she'll keep around for a while.
© Heather Phares /TiVo

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Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea

PJ Harvey

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1
Big Exit
00:03:51

Polly Jean Harvey, ComposerLyricist - Rob Ellis, Harpsichord, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - Head, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - ROBERT ELLIS, Producer - PJ Harvey, Producer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mick Harvey, Producer, Drums, Harmonium, AssociatedPerformer

An Island Records recording; ℗ 2000 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

2
Good Fortune
00:03:20

Polly Jean Harvey, ComposerLyricist - Head, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - ROBERT ELLIS, Producer, Drums, Piano, Synthesizer Programming, AssociatedPerformer - PJ Harvey, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mick Harvey, Producer, Bass Guitar, Organ, AssociatedPerformer

An Island Records recording; ℗ 2000 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

3
A Place Called Home
00:03:42

Polly Jean Harvey, ComposerLyricist - Head, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - ROBERT ELLIS, Producer, Drums, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - PJ Harvey, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mick Harvey, Producer, Bass Guitar, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer

An Island Records recording; ℗ 2000 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

4
One Line
00:03:14

Polly Jean Harvey, ComposerLyricist - Thom Yorke, Keyboards, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Head, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - ROBERT ELLIS, Producer, Vibraphone, AssociatedPerformer - PJ Harvey, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mick Harvey, Producer, Accordion, Drums, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

An Island Records recording; ℗ 2000 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

5
Beautiful Feeling
00:04:00

Polly Jean Harvey, ComposerLyricist - Thom Yorke, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Head, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - ROBERT ELLIS, Producer - PJ Harvey, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mick Harvey, Producer

An Island Records recording; ℗ 2000 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

6
The Whores Hustle And The Hustlers Whore
00:04:00

Polly Jean Harvey, ComposerLyricist - Head, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - ROBERT ELLIS, Producer, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - PJ Harvey, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Maracas, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mick Harvey, Producer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

An Island Records recording; ℗ 2000 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

7
This Mess We're In
00:03:57

Polly Jean Harvey, ComposerLyricist - Thom Yorke, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Head, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - ROBERT ELLIS, Producer, Drums, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - PJ Harvey, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mick Harvey, Producer, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer

An Island Records recording; ℗ 2000 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

8
You Said Something
00:03:19

Polly Jean Harvey, ComposerLyricist - Head, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - ROBERT ELLIS, Producer, Drums, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - PJ Harvey, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mick Harvey, Producer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

An Island Records recording; ℗ 2000 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

9
Kamikaze
00:02:24

Polly Jean Harvey, ComposerLyricist - Head, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - ROBERT ELLIS, Producer, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - PJ Harvey, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mick Harvey, Producer, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer

An Island Records recording; ℗ 2000 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

10
This Is Love
00:03:48

Polly Jean Harvey, ComposerLyricist - Head, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - ROBERT ELLIS, Producer, Drums, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - PJ Harvey, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mick Harvey, Producer, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer

An Island Records recording; ℗ 2000 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

11
Horses In My Dreams
00:05:37

Polly Jean Harvey, ComposerLyricist - Head, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - ROBERT ELLIS, Producer, Drums, Piano, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - PJ Harvey, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mick Harvey, Producer, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

An Island Records recording; ℗ 2000 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

12
We Float
00:06:09

Polly Jean Harvey, ComposerLyricist - Head, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - ROBERT ELLIS, Producer, Drums, Keyboards, Piano, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - PJ Harvey, Producer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mick Harvey, Producer, Bass Guitar, Organ, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

An Island Records recording; ℗ 2000 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

Album Description

During her career, Polly Jean Harvey has had as many incarnations as she has albums. She's gone from the Yeovil art student of her debut Dry, to Rid of Me's punk poetess to To Bring You My Love and Is This Desire?'s postmodern siren; on Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea -- inspired by her stay in New York City and life in the English countryside -- she's changed again. The album cover's stylish, subtly sexy image suggests what its songs confirm: PJ Harvey has grown up. Direct, vulnerable lyrics replace the allegories and metaphors of her previous work, and the album's production polishes the songs instead of obscuring them in noise or studio tricks. On the album's best tracks, such as "Kamikaze" and "This Is Love," a sexy, shouty blues-punk number that features the memorable refrain "I can't believe life is so complex/When I just want to sit here and watch you undress," Harvey sounds sensual and revitalized. The New York influences surface on the glamorous punk rock of "Big Exit" and "Good Fortune," on which Harvey channels both Chrissie Hynde's sexy tough girl and Patti Smith's ferocious yelp. Ballads like the sweetly urgent, piano and marimba-driven "One Line" and the Thom Yorke duet "This Mess We're In" avoid the painful depths of Harvey's darkest songs; "Horses in My Dreams" also reflects Harvey's new emotional balance: "I have pulled myself clear," she sighs, and we believe her. However, "We Float"'s glossy choruses veer close to Lillith Fair territory, and longtime fans can't help but miss the visceral impact of her early work, but Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea doesn't compromise her essential passion. Hopefully, this album's happier, more direct PJ Harvey is a persona she'll keep around for a while.
© Heather Phares /TiVo

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