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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Genius
First of all, the New York influence and Patti Smith comparison has been much overstated by now; PJ Harvey has repeatedly said that Smith has never musically inspired her and that the vocal likeness is coincidental. That out of the way, I must now heartily endorse Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea – a truly great rock album and one of my personal...
Published on 14 Feb 2004

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some Very Good Songs But A Mixed Bag Overall
Typical that PJ's most praised album is also her least interesting. Very clearly a "New York" album much of it sounds like Patti Smith retreads - without any of the spark that Patti brought to her best records (more like retreads of Patti's 80's AOR sadly - at times you start expecting PJ to sing People Have The Power), for that blame the ultra-slick production and...
Published on 15 Jan 2011 by L. C. Warne


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A definate must, 16 Aug 2010
If you're new to PJ Harvey then this is the perfect albumn to start off with. Its the most accessable by far of all her albumns, which is not meant either as a praise nor as a negative.
This albumn is often described as more pop then her others, which is somewhat true but should not be a put off for any of the more heavy fans. And anyway it's Polly Jean Harvey, you cant exactly get further away from pop!
For any Thom Yorke fans 'This mess we're in' has Thom singing lead whilst Polly sings and voices over in perfect biting harmony. And thom is also featured both with back up vocals and piano peices in both 'One Line' and 'Beautiful Feeling.'
'This is Love' will probably be one of the ones you've heard before as one of Harvey's more famous works, but this is no means the only standout of the albumn. If im being truly honest i would say that not a single song on this album is redundant.
Polly jean shows she hasnt lost that raw, animalistic edge in such songs like 'this wicked tongue' 'big exit' 'kamikaze' 'this is love' these prove just how perfect polly and a guitar is together. and with peircing lyrics expressed with polly's insane range of chilling highs and just pure awesome lows.
For those who like it softer, but no less great, listen to 'One Line' 'We Float' 'Good furtune'
This is a perfect start point to journey into the depths of polly jean. I say to Rolling Stone who said "the best album of her career" hell no PJ Harvey has a load more to offer, so check out her other albumns; 'Is This Desire?' and 'White Chalk' Trust me you will not be dissapointed. As PJ Harvey says herself she wanted something of 'absolute beauty. I want this album to sing and fly and be full of reverb and lush layers of melody.' -She got it right.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An old school fan feels compelled..., 20 Aug 2008
I am a very very hard to please, very cynical person.

I am also a massive massive fan of Dry, Rid of Me, 4-track Demos, TBMYL and Is This Desire.

I feel I have to stand up for SFTCSFTS as we seem to have the usual tiresome self-proclaimed "uberfans" slagging it off. Well, if you cannot see the appeal and beauty in tracks like Place Called Home, One Line, Good Fortune and We Float, then I despair of the human race.

And then I haven't even mentioned Big Exit (my 2nd fave PJH tune ever) and Beautiful Feeling (wonderful but perhaps better represented on the Peel Sessions CD).

If you can't appreciate this as a brilliant addition to the PJH
catalogue, then you ARE unwell in some way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is this PJ at her 'lightest'?, 6 Sep 2007
By 
Brida "izumi" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Stories From the City Stories From the Sea (Audio CD)
Before listening to this album, I had heard her other album, TO BRING YOU MY LOVE. That album was intensely dark, really quite disturbing in places. STORIES FROM THE CITY, STORIES FROM THE SEA is quite a change to this dark side of Harvey. Although she is still able to pack a few punches, STORIES is defintiely more accessible than TO BRING YOU MY LOVE.

Love finally seems to be something that can be celebrated, as well as being the bringer of intense pain. In "One Line", Harvey describes such a hopeful love relationship, describing how a connection between two loving hearts may be able to keep the two people safe in todays warring world.
"This is Love" is an incredibly catchy song that also sings about the joys of love (with just a bit of lust thrown in for good measure). It reminds me of a honeymoon period for relationships, where you can't get enough of the other person, and all you want to do is have physical contact with them.

As another reviewer has suggetsed, if you are new to PJ's work, this may be the best place to start. It is a fantastic rock album, providing a different side to PJ. Even when she seems to be celebrating the good points of love and relationships, there is an undoubtable amount of emotion and rawness to make sure that PJ's ture essence of herself remains withing her music.
A great album - recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We Float, 2 May 2001
By A Customer
Far and away the best album I bought in 2000. This review is obviously fairly superfluous, so I'll keep it brief. The range of Polly's singing appears to have increased on this album, from her usual demanding deliberations to a more sensual expression, possibly due to increased confidence in its capabilities. Thom Yorke's voice is used to astonishingly haunting effect on a few tracks, more so than he manages with his own band, even. I was less than totally enamoured with "Good Fortune" when it was released as a single, and I was reluctant to buy the album as a consequence. However, the song makes total sense and is utterly enjoyable when listened to in sequence with the rest of the album. Is synergy at work here?
It was so good to have finally found an album with a degree of depth last year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vibrant, Visceral, Elemental, 7 Feb 2001
By A Customer
I love all of P J Harvey's albums and one of the things I love is that she doesn't churn out the same old stuff every time. She moves on, she grows and if you want to be her fan, then you have to move with her. I don't understand why the reviewers say things like 'Best album since Dry'!? That is so subjective and trite. This is a great album though. It has such energy and clarity. She seems to have picked up some great American punk influnces in Big Exit, and Kamikazee. Its a positive albumn too, listen to 'Good Fortune'and 'You said Something'. There are sexy songs, 'This Mess We're in', 'This is Love'. Then there is just a hint of the darkness we know so well, 'The Whore's Hustle' and 'This Wicked Tingue'. Its a good change and who knows what she'll do next? I for one can't wait to find out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathe of fresh air in a year of medocre music, 8 Nov 2000
By A Customer
More refined than Dry, a less produced feel than To Bring you my Love, however it manages to encapsulate the essence of both. The vocals are as raw as ever when required, operatic in places, entwined with the banging bass (youll be banging your hands on your steering wheel like a demeneted dementee during Kamikazee!)
Having been a fan since the days of Dry, i feel that over the years the atmosphere of the music has progressed with my progress in age!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine work by Nick Cave's former squeeze., 20 April 2006
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
PJ Harvey has never been exactly accessible as an artist; you can see why Nick Cave would find her attractive, really (or, indeed, anyone else), but the Mercury Award-winning Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea is Harvey at her most easily listenable. It's also her masterpiece.

'Big Exit' opens things on fine form; led by a chiming line played on about five instruments at once, Harvey hollers away of the top of it as she usually does, singing about the immortality of love. 'This Is Love' features a deliciously chunky guitar riff and 'The Whores Hustle and the Hustlers Whore' sounds exactly how you'd expect it to. Best of all is 'This Mess We're In,' which features Radiohead singer Thom Yorke. I'm not sure if anyone else could have got Yorke to sing the lyrics he does on this song, and their duelling vocals really make the track, if not the album as a whole.

This could equally be a great starting point or ending point for someone looking to get into PJ Harvey. The least scary of her albums, it's a fine entry into her music; probably her best work, it's also the perfect way to complete your collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is kind of about you. This is kind of about me, 4 Feb 2010
By 
A. Willard (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a cracking album - apparently PJ doesn't think too much of it herself these days - but what does she know? It is the most commercial of her album's but it's still not exactly Susan Boyle so I think she should rest easy (mind you after her cover of `Wild Horses' I'd quite like to hear Ms Boyle have a go at `The Whores Hustle And The Hustlers Whore'..).

There's plenty of lively `uns on here; the aforementioned `Whores' etc, `Big Exit', `Kamikaze' and the wonderfully lustful `This Is Love'. But there's also some quieter moments, dare I say contemplative. I love `We Float'; instead of her usual raging at an ex there's almost a sense of acceptance, `take life as it comes'. Of course the `hidden' track comes after this `This Wicked Tongue' which might also be the best track on the album, and is certainly not quiet or contemplative.

I don`t like `Horses In My Dreams' but the rest are great and her voice has never sounded better. Buy buy buy!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Polly Jean Harvey's best ever., 28 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Ah. Well. Yes. Err.
Sorry, it's rather difficult to descrive how good 'Stories' is in mere words. Just buy it for heaven's sake! Your cd player and ears will love you forever. My god, she's good!
I've had this album since it was released, and a year on, I can honestly say it's not only Polly's best (these things are relative -she's never been less than brilliant), but she now stands shoulder to shoulder with one of her major inspirations, the seminal Patti Smith. If anything, Polly has bettered her in that she has matured as a writer / performer in far less time, and musically is a much more varied artist.
I'm not going to bother with much more in the way of detail here -let's just say Stories' is a ballistic album in places, yet has the controlled, melancholic blues of 'Is this Desire?' and the raw passion 'To Bring You My Love'.
Enjoy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply her best and most intricate album yet, 20 Mar 2001
By 
S. ANGUS "the viper" (BELFAST, CO ANTRIM, N.Ireland United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Unbelievable. PJ seems to just burn brighter and brighter as time goes on. Listening to her older albums you somewhat get lost in this darkeness of times gone by however this album completely re-evokes the feeling of her earlier work only now its richer and even more deliciously complex. It shatters the illusion of the past and brings it right here into the present. You can really feel her raw emotion (you said something/beautiful feeling) and experience the beauty and enigma that is PJ Harvey
Every track counts on this album which is a rarity in itself. Its opening track "Big Exit" is beleagured with her trademark darkness and nihilism and we know PJ is on the warpath again. The collaboration with Thom Yorke "This mess we're in" is a fantastic blend of talent. Both slightly strange and enigmatic one could almost belief some odd half-lit relationship was going on between them-it works superbly and does not relent each time its listened to. Surprisingly the album has a tone of the headiness of being in love which may or may not be a cross-over of PJ's real-life seeping into her musical creativity. Definitely a classic album that I personally will refer to for many years to come. Most definitely an album of depth and influence ( notably of Patti Smith-who she scarily sounds like in one of the tracks). One word- "Quality".
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Stories From the City Stories From the Sea
Stories From the City Stories From the Sea by PJ Harvey (Audio CD - 2000)
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