4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 1 June 2004
It probably says something when Avril's album is going to outsell this completely and it already above this album in the the amazon selling list. It shows shes never going to have the commerical claut. that others have but thats probably are good thing.
Rid Of Me remains her centerpeice, but ever since it shes been trying to dtich that sound and image, To Bring You My Love, Is This Desire? and Stories From The City, Stroies From The Sea have been depatures, from the early 90s harsh sound she had. This record has been described as a hark back to that sound, but much like Hail To The Thief, its not entirely true, there is much more guitary punch for example "Who the F**k" and "The Letter" but then you have the songs like "The Slow Drug" and "You Come Through" which hark back to Is This Desire?
Shes never wanted to categorize herself swtiching genres, and lyrical focus with albums, this album is murky, and at first sounds confused and messy, but if you listen more youll see theres a lot more going on and when you see it you do see the genius of lady whose still challangeing herself (she plays all instrumentents, exepct for drums) and her audience.
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2005
I would like to start by saying that "Stories...", to my mind, doesn't quite "fit" into Polly Harvey's remarkable ouevre. I also got the feeling that the Mercury people were merely acknowledging Harvey's immense talent at that time because they had(rather rudely)ignored her previous work. Uh Huh Her is a return to form of the highest order with all the elements of the Harvey craft in evidence. "The Letter" in particular is a proper Peej number in sound and sentiment. If "Rid Of Me" was too harsh and TBYML to pastoral then get involved with this. It seems to contain all the best elements of previous work whilst, in a way, summarising her career to date. Personally, I never listen to "Stories..." but constantly revisit all the others and that to me is the acid test.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 31 May 2004
wow-what can i say? stories was good-but mister two stars-what were you thinking???!! well, to those of you who are inspired by pj circa early 90's then give this beauty a gander i reckon- there is a song on here- name i cant remember which showcases a beautiful lyrical harmony in Harvey's voice-not 'raw' as the kids would be calling it but beautifully crafted-definitely worth the time and the money of investing in-kerching fat cats!!
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2004
Thanks to all who recognise the individuality of P J Harvey.
No apologies to those who don't.
If you're disappointed that this album isn't 'Stories pt11' then tough.
Uh Huh Her shows Polly is still out there and has no intention of joining the general music industry theology of regurgitation.
I have played 'Rid of me' for the last 9 years, its allure does not fade. The appeal of 'Stories' faded too quickly.
Uh Huh Her on the first few plays isn't in the same class as the early stuff, but reassures us that the potential is still within her.
Let the Stories crowd go and stop apologising for their lack of vision.
None of P J Harveys' albums have universal appeal, this is a good thing, there's plenty of mainstream garbage for the sheep.
As usual I'll probably end up liking 2/3rds of the album, but one good song by this artist will stay with you for years.
Polly Jean keeps em guessing again.
6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2004
After the worst album she has ever made - yes IMHO "Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea" is unlistenable Polly Jean has redemed herself with "Uh Huh Her". This is how she should have followed up "Is This Desire" which is my #1 album of all time. The songs are dark and bitter with Polly Jean using her vocal range from a whisper to scream. "The Letter" made a fine opening single and songs like "Shame", "The Slow Drug", "It's You" & "The Desperate Kingdom Of Love" show just what a talent she really is. I'll be playing this on my walkman for weeks to come.
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2005
I came to know of P.J. Harvey's music thanks to "Later....With Jools Holland". She has made several appearances on his show over the years, most recently in 2004. I also remember watching a televised concert, I think it was held at the Brixton Academy just before John Peel died, which (I think) was shown on ITV. I decided that I liked what I had heard and that I would try and find out more about Polly and her music.
But what finally prompted me to go out and buy this album was the untimely death of John Peel in October 2004. John, as I'm sure many readers will already know, had been a long-time fan of Harvey since 1991. She performed a number of sessions for him over the years, including one in 2004 just prior to his death.
While listening to the album I removed the booklet from the CD case, looking for lyrics (and clues), to see what the songs were about. But instead of finding lyrics what I found was a series of pictures with handwritten notes. The pictures are self portraits, and appear to have been taken over the past 15 years, and seem to have inspired the feelings behind the songs. For the most part they seem to be sad pictures and they give me the impression that:
a) Polly Jean appears not to have had an entirely happy relationship with her parents, especially her mother.
b) That she was an only child, and seems to have had either an unhappy or lonely childhood. A child full of woe....
c) I wonder if Polly was a bit of a tom boy when young?.
I would suspect that the first three pictures were taken when she still lived with her parents, possibly when at art college, possibly taken before she came to London. The next three were perhaps taken when she came to London, to study for her degree, though the scarf says to me late 80's (school uniform scarf?). I wonder if the one in the middle was taken when still at school?, or possibly in the early 90's. The next two pictures are very pop, and must have been taken later when she became famous. The next picture is a black and white, and shows Polly on a horse, apparently taken when she was young. The next picture was obviously taken during her art student days, judging by the way she is dressed, I would say that it must have been taken in the late 80's or early 90's. I wouldn't like to say when the next five pictures were taken, though I believe she now lives in the US, and suspect that at least one of them was taken there. Plus it looks as if they were all taken in her bathroom, or in women's toilets!?. Possibly these pictures were taken when she was on tour?. The last picture is modern. It appears to have been taken in the same apartment as the "What the f**k?" video.
They say that every picture tells a story, but I can only guess at what these pictures are saying. An obsession with oneself perhaps?. This is how I was and how I was feeling at such and such a time seems a much more likely explanation. But I suppose the main question is: What are these pictures supposed to tell the listener, if anything?. I can only conclude that Polly is trying to give the listener an insight into the emotional and creative process behind each of the songs. This picture montage being a work of art in it's own right.
P.J. Harvey's music is deep stuff. It soon becomes clear that the album must be autobiographical, a feeling that has only been re-enforced having recently heard "Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea". They are all sad songs, tainted with loneliness, sadness, love (or perhaps a lack of it), death and relationship problems. It is her voice and her story of her life. The songs, I believe, were inspired by real events in her life. Chronicling her relationship with her parents, especially her mother (and/or possibly her grandmother/grandparents?), as well as with boyfriends and lovers. It all seems to be very personal, that she is baring her soul to the listener.
My favorite tracks on this album were "The Pocket knife", "The letter" and "The slow drug".
6 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 1 June 2004
PJ's last album, Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, was genius - packed as it was with brilliant, inventive songs which were as deep as they were catchy. So what went wrong with Uh Huh Her? The album is an incoherant jumble with minimalistic, dare I say it self-indulgent, instrumentation with a moaning set of lyrics which we had really hoped P.J had grown out of.
While the songs are solid, there's little in the way of the instantly likable tunes which we were treated to on Stories and not enough occasions for for PJ's powerful voice to strut its stuff.
Uh Huh Her is still a good album and PJ fans will enjoy it but just don't expect anything like the brilliant Stories or you'll be setting yourself up for a fall. Disappointing.
8 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2004
You can be sure that the first time I hear any album I give it my full attention. At today's prices you want to give it at least one good listen before you relegate it to the "stick it on while you wash the dishes" pile. But after the first 3 or so tracks my mind started to wander. To tell the truth 70% of the album is what I would consider "filler material".
Insomnia a problem? No need for those homeopathic remedies, just put the new PJ Harvey album on and you will be asleep in a few minutes.
In case you're wondering, I was a huge fan of PJ, and had loved everything she did up to now. But to take four years over producing this limp offering is just an insult.