After living with this album for the best part of a month, i can safely say that i was not only too quick to judge & digest, but also not 'open' enough to experience the sincerity with which Uh Huh had been created. I am a huge HUGE fan of all PJs albums, including the much maligned Stories, & had felt initially put off by its apparent 'selfconciousness', (my first review June 16), the main dissapointment for me being 'Who The F**k', due to its ( in my opinion of course) weak lyrics in comparison to the the 'sharp as a tack' witty & 'no holds bared' tracks from ROM & Demos. That track aside, ive come to be completely drawn in to the hypnotic, sometimes dark sometimes gentle, & overwhelmingly tender & vulnerable qualities of this album.
I initially rated this 3.5 stars, ( & though it may seem 'mean' to only up it to a 4*), i feel it would be slightly dishonest of me to equal it to or rate it above (in my opinion of course) the sheer astonishing brilliance of either ITDesire?, (my fave), TBYML, Demos (fave), or Stories (another fave!) for that matter. However I have had a 'complete change of heart', & have been totally won over by the sheer intimacy that she's created. There are elements from all her albums here, albiet without the caustic intensity of Demos, nor the complex intoxicating layers of ITD?, or the intense emotional heights of TBYML, but the distorted bass heavy riffs, taut drum patterns, & down tempo electronic effects, which underscore the whole album, are still fresh & unlike anything previous, (ive included descriptions of the tracks on previous review). There seems to be a balance between dark & light on this album, Cat On The Wall is downright invigorating & funky & the likes of You Come Through, Shame, Slow Drug & DDO M& Him are delicate,sublime & sorrowfull @ the same time. Badmouth, The Letter & PKnife, exude dark strange & leftfield/ cleverly crafted arrangements , that would please fans of ITD? (in the first two), & TBYML in PK.
Polly has insisted that the songs should not be read as autobiographical, but at the same time emphasizes through her artwork (self portraits), & intimitae stlyle of production, that she is indeed "telling us about her brief history" (quote). Perhaps (and understandably so) keeping a bit of herself for herself. The warm 'homey' style production, (recorded produced etc. herself @ her family home), allows the sad gentle tender 'ballads' to resonate with mesmerizing beauty, & even the short 'intervals' which annoyed me so to begin with, (seagulls @ the beach, & The End the accordian recording 'for Vincent Gallo", i now find simply add to the ambience & reflective nature of the work as a whole. A woman at a stage where she can take stock, understand herself, & evaluate & reconcile all that has passed & that is present, that's what this album represents to me, (purely my personal perception of course). PJ has stated that Pknife was inspired from a Russian Folklore story, but still my gut feeling is of course that this translates to her sensibilities/ feelings at present.
Dedicated to her grandmother Mary Jane Harvey, who passed away during or around the time of this recording, Uh Huh Her is indeed yet another brave, challenging, work of art, built upon integrity & honesty. If you are a fan at all I strongly urge you to give it a go, & above all else to give it time, proof once again that the best/ boldest works often require a little time to work their understated yet powerful magic. Fool was I for doubting..