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4.7 out of 5 stars74
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 13 May 2003
Having never heard any of PJ Harvey's earlier material I am unable to give a comparative review of this album. I was bought this album by cousins from LA about three years ago, and never really got around to listening to it until a few days ago.
I realised when I did listen to it that I recognised three of the tracks straight away - Big Exit, Good Fortune, and This Is Love. Having heard Big Exit performed live on Jools Holland, I was won over immediately by the pure strength of the track - the distinctive rock sound and heavy guitars seem to perfectly complement PJ's strong rocky vocals.
The rest of the album is pretty damn great as well - it's taken me two or three goes to really get to grips with it but now I have I feel very rewarded. As someone who had never even heard of PJ Harvey before I received the album, I now feel grateful that I was given the chance to appreciate music by this damn talented chick.
This Mess We're In is a wicked track - it's a duet with Thom Yorke from Radiohead - ironically I don't particularly like Radiohead but Thom gives a top performance on this track. The harmonies between the two are great. Other notable tracks are the last two - We Float and Horses In My Dreams, they are both more downtempo than the other tracks and a perfect way to end a fantastic uptempo rock album.
To summarise, this album is well worth a listen because it is simply unique. I have never heard another female singer pull off such a fantastic rock album with so much style and talent. Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea is without a doubt the best contemporary rock album by a female artist that I have ever heard.
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on 24 October 2000
Storeys from the City Storeys from the Sea, is really a return to classic P.J.Harvey and also a new Americana sound has crept in to replace the euro wave sound of 'Is this Desire'. Recorded in New York and Buckingham P.J. finished off the album by re recording some parts on a 4 track at her Dorset home. So some of the raw ness is still there, and hear it works. The songs have a very Americana feel to them, the opener 'Big Exit' wouldnt sound out of place on a Dandy Worhols record, and Mick Harvey (no relation) makes a impact on the last proper track 'We Float' which wouldn't sound out of place on a Bad Seeds record. The low point IMO is the duet with Thom York 'This Mess were in' It was obviously done quickly to cash in as the York vocals are badly recorded, as well as being out of tune (and he miss pronounces simple words) it is a good song, but I think I would have preferred to hear it with just Polly Jean or even Mick Harvey, though the song doesn't need a male vocal and Yorks parts (he appears three times) sound like an after thought. 'You said something' brings to album back on track with very Patti Smith sounding vocals. Over all this album works well, it is as good as 'Is this Desire' and will appeal to the older fans who maybe thought the last one was too dark. The montage of photo's of the recording process show Polly, Mick, Rob Ellis and Flood laughing and joking and generally looking cheerful and that come across in the music.
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on 4 January 2002
When I put this CD in my CD player at home, the first thing that I thought was "WOW!". From beginning to end, this is a record that will be recognized as a classic for years to come. Polly is unashamedly a magnificent songwriter, and exercises this on this record. The use of a 4-track recording system also proves her proficiency as a producer as well.
The first track, "Big Exit" really sets the standard for the album, with the single "Good Fortune" following. High points of the album include "This mess we're in", "Good Fortune" and "We Float". This is a record that you can listen to for an infinite number of times because the tracks have been layered with melodies and harmonies so carefully that you can notice something different each time. This record is completely different to anything seen at the moment, but artists with similar recording styles include Dido, The Strokes, Joni Mitchell and Tracy Chapman. This is the first album I have bought by P J, but in my eyes, Polly Harvey has come up with something that's P J perfect!
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on 10 October 2014
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on 3 August 2014
As expected
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on 8 November 2000
By turns austere, fulsome, rocking, reflective, loud, quiet, but always always, rather good. Not absolutely stunning overall, hence only 4 stars, but oh how I wish I had seen her live in Cardiff playing out this new set: PeeJ rocks live! The only thing to do at home is turn it up... Polly's voice is in fine form and the backing is uncluttered and distinctive. Sure she may be maturing and mellowing but she can still wail and belt 'em out like ever before. Not perhaps one to convert people, but for those already worshipping, a fantastic release. Recommended.
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on 1 August 2002
As a fan of Polly and her band it feels a bit uncomfortable criticising this, but IMO this is the least the Polly PJ Harvey album. This is Polly does Patti Smith, with all the NYC stylings that suggests. If you want Polly at her raw, feral best buy 'Rid of Me' instead, one of the most uniquely inspired albums ever. If you like this, and mainstream is more your thing than howling punk blues, then buy 'To Bring You My Love', her dark, brooding, Nick Cave inspired album. Both seem to me to have more of Polly in than this album does...
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on 19 April 2001
I've bought most of PJ Harvey's albums over the last decade and this is the best. I enjoyed the earlier albums but they were very dark and angry - I had to be in the right mood to listen to them and it wasn't usually a good mood. "Stories" is full of strong, emotive tracks but not quite as scary. Best tracks? I'd probably say "You said something" and "This mess we're in". The best album I've bought in a long time and one I know I'll return to time and time again.
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on 4 April 2016
superb :D
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on 23 August 2015
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