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34 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back on Familiar Ground
I'm happy to see Polly back on familiar ground with this album. Although I enjoyed "Stories" as an album in its own right, I was unable to connect with it the way I had with that album's predecessors; most notably "To Bring". The majority of the pop sheen thrown over "Stories" is gone, to be replaced with the minimalistic brooding force of her earlier works. The bottom...
Published on 31 May 2004 by J. Kipling

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6 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not brilliant
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...
Published on 1 Jun 2004 by Mat Bettinson


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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thankfully Not "Stories......", 12 Jan 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Uh Huh Her (Audio CD)
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.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars more please!!!, 31 May 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Uh Huh Her (Audio CD)
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!!
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you don't like it....., 3 Jun 2004
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Uh Huh Her (Audio CD)
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.
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Polly Jean is back on track, 3 Jun 2004
This review is from: Uh Huh Her (Audio CD)
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.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uh Huh Her: A review., 27 July 2005
This review is from: Uh Huh Her (Audio CD)
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".
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6 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not brilliant, 1 Jun 2004
By 
Mat Bettinson (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Uh Huh Her (Audio CD)
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.
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8 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars uh huh zzzz..., 7 Jun 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Uh Huh Her (Audio CD)
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.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank God for PJ Harvey!, 14 Aug 2006
By 
Ms. A. L. Thomson "abby83uk" (Ooh arr Banbury) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Uh Huh Her (Audio CD)
I'm so glad I've been introduced to this womean's music! It rules!!!!!! It took me a couple of lessons to get it because she is so unique- but now I'm addicted!!!
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "ALL THAT MATTERS IS MY VOICE & MY STORY", 16 Jun 2004
By 
Melissa House "melski" (Perth Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Uh Huh Her (Audio CD)
(THREE & A HALF STARS)
As a fan that discovered PJ through ‘Stories’, throughout her catalogue I’ve been continually blown away; Her refreshing interpretation of the blues on ROM & Demos, the elegance of TBYML, the bewitching innovativness of ITD?, & the boisterous passion of Stories. On this release shes not repeated, but incorporated elements from each, playing most instruments, recording & producing from home. A slight return to the ITD?, although a far cry from its complex layers. Instead Polly offers an intimate autobiographical affair, containing lyrics of a candid personal nature. Similarities to Stories- relartionships etc, although this time round there is a sense of sorrow that permeates throughout the ‘ballads’, a ‘come down’ from the elation expressed on that record. Themes such as dependency & commitment, friendship, & a glimpse into her childhood, are interspersed between a few growling rockers and backed by some glistening harmonies..
1/ TL&TOMBM stomps away with understated vocals lending a sense of darkness, opening to a sumptuous chorus before returning to heavy fuzzed out bass- dark n heavy. Gentle vocals ensure a certain creepiness.
2/ SHAME; Gorgeous harmony against a hypnotic drum pattern & bass. “ I don’t need no risin’ moon, I don’t need no ball & chain, I don’t need anything but you..” an accordian in the ‘distance’ ensures a sad beauty with the kind of vocal delivery that stops it from being a cliché. Sad/ romantic @ same time.
3/ WTF**K? fuses typical corrosive blues punk riffs (Demos/ROM), against taut ‘break beat’ style drums; a cheeky humorous attempt with improvisational clapping ala Demos. “Who the f**k d’you think you are, get out of my hair.. im not like other girls.. you cant straighten my curls..” Unfortunately lacks the lyrical wit & charm evident in the likes of ‘Easy’ or ‘Reelin’, & seems desperately self concious in its attempt to ‘rock out’, as a result sees one of the weakest PJH tracks to date! (the accompanying video included on this disc).
4/ PKNIFE; Intro- acoustic strumming, tambourine & percussion. VAGUELY reminiscent of the flamenco inflected TBYML. “Please don’t make my wedding dress, im too young too marry yet, how the world slips by so fast..” A reflection of her age & its expectations? Youthfull distance & time ‘sliping by’ presents itself subtly throughout this album..
5/ THE LETTER; Bass heavy riffs again- dark sleazy blues & ‘taut’ drumming, is one of the strongest arrangements- Intriguing with an apocalyptic chorus that sees polly wailing with life depending urgency…”ohhhhhhhhhh baabeeyyyyy”..
6/ TSDRUG; Opens with keyboard style ‘strings effect’, that sounds like the intro to a dance track! BUT FEAR NOT, this short shimmering sad beauty with its simple harmonies, doesn’t build to any precicatble chorus’- keeps a simple format (verse verse verse). Vocals at front of mix enhance intimacy, (hissing & breathiness). “..love the drug im feelin, got to keep this feeling, could you be my calling?..” ‘Blissed out lyrics- the perfect accompaniment.
7/ NCOMINE; acoustic ballad SLIGHTLY similar to Cmon Billy minus the intense vocal delivery; very short / lukewarm.
8/ COTWALL; strongest rocker here in an unapologisingly fun way not heard from Polly before! Distorted & bass heavy is accompanied by a recorder!! - Infectious garage rock, nothing angst ridden & it works!. “They play the radio in my dreams, takes me back to when I was 17, dancing in circles on the kitchen floor, I play that song till I cant take anymore!” Theres a sense if nostalgia & youthfull exuberance which im personally loving..
9/ YCTHROUGH ; Dreamy ambience built on percussion, glockenshpiel(?), accordian & strings; builds to an understated crecendo..& has a sincerity that sparks of the belief in friendship. LOVELY.
10/ ITS YOU; ITD? Territory; piano & drum pattern intros before dirty bluesy bass heavy riff, (very sexy) leads the way.- Compenstates for the ‘unsophisticated’ lyrics, “..my dreams are so very dark, I dream of my hair just fallin out..” not of the caliber of The Garden or The River.
11/ THE END; ‘atmospheric interval’; acoustic strumming backing a teary folky accordian- is ‘made for’ Vincent Gallo.. frankly I wish she’d just outright given it to him instead. Necessary?
12/ TDKOF LOVE; Somber minimal acoustc melody, reminds me of Cohens folk songs. Whilst charming still lacks impact.
13/ SEAGULLS; .just when the album sorely needs a stick of dynamite up it’s ar*e, another ‘interval’ - seagulls with background hush of the sea. What else to say…?
14/ TDDOM&HIM; Welcome respite & fitting closure; Initially conjures up an ‘Eastern’ feel, followed by pretty acoustic melody, “Promises promises, im feelin burned, you taught me a lesson, I didn’t wanna learn..” Sorrow & hurt evident again. The ‘distant’ backing vocals coupled with ambient effects becomes a dreamy psychadellic presence, sums up the sense of dissapointment with regards to love constant throughout..
This work, whilst reflecting where PJ is at present, does point to a possible self conscious response to prove her ‘non commercalism’, which is what I fear may at least be partly evident on ‘Who The F**k’. It seems of importance to PJ that her audience has some insight into the thought processes behind this album, with the inclusion of a large series of revealing self portraits & notes made whilst recording; “Too normal? Too PJH?” / “If struggling with a song drop out the thing you like” / “Pop hit- uh oh”/ perhaps she overworked the process?
As a HUGE fan, I hardly revel in stating that this (by Pollys standards), is average. Long time fans will be divided, but I recommend you take the risk as you’ll most likely appreciate at least 1/2 of whats here. I have enormous faith in PJ- 5 masterpieces in a row & one average is still a hell of a track record. Indeed id’ve prefered to hear something ‘completely new’, but for now im settling in to enjoy the finer moments of this, possibly Polly Jeans most soul bearing album to date, as she “tells you about her bfief history”.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars probably her best, 7 Jun 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Uh Huh Her (Audio CD)
Those who loved the slick, formulaic commercial pabulum of "Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea" might be disappointed by this return to the unique form of early PJ Harvey. This new work is similar to the Dry album period, but also tempered by a simmering garage-rock/folk sensibility, not unlike early Cowboy Junkies. The music is the simple bluesy post punk rock style we had come to love from PJ Harvey before she went corporate pop. And it is probably her best.
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Uh Huh Her by Pj Harvey
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