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18 Reviews
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Career Striding Album
A Woman A Man Walked By is fantastic. You have the guitar stompers "Blacked Hearted Love", the frenzied "16,15,14" and "The Chair", the piano laden ethereal tracks "The Soldier" and "Leaving California" and the achingly beautiful "April" and "Passionless Pointless". Each song takes from a section of PJ's career while maintaining a new identity (grungy banjo!). For those...
Published on 30 Mar. 2009 by S. Smith

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult listen
Perhaps one for strong PJ fans alone, otherwise, you may find it a difficult listen. There are not many catchy songs and I found it hard to connect to the album and lyrics. I do really like some of her other work (and think she is beautiful!), just would not recommend this one. First song however, is amaze-balls.
Published 17 months ago by Kieron Hegarty


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Career Striding Album, 30 Mar. 2009
By 
S. Smith "sitorimon" (UK) - See all my reviews
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A Woman A Man Walked By is fantastic. You have the guitar stompers "Blacked Hearted Love", the frenzied "16,15,14" and "The Chair", the piano laden ethereal tracks "The Soldier" and "Leaving California" and the achingly beautiful "April" and "Passionless Pointless". Each song takes from a section of PJ's career while maintaining a new identity (grungy banjo!). For those waiting for screaming madness I highly recommend "Pig Will Not" and the title track for maximum impact but there's no poor track on the album. Well done PJ and John.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Avoid if you like easy listening., 30 Oct. 2009
It is interesting that most of the critical reviews on here make the assumption that this album has only received high ratings from die-hard PJH fans. I am not a diehard fan, in fact until very recently I had not really heard any of her stuff, but I think this album is excellent. The first track is probably the most conventional but as a consequence is also the least engaging. What follows will not appeal to everyone - but anyone willing to stretch them-self a little will find the experience rewarding. I would not recommend this, however, if you like your music safe and predictable - stick with Coldplay.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something different, 3 April 2009
By 
M. Sherwen "markjoes" (Milton Keynes, UK) - See all my reviews
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Each track provides a different view and style, this shows true genius - can PJ Harvey go wrong? Each album peels back a layer, I really can't fault one album - each is a new side and never a repeat from previous creations.

From this album I particularly like "Black Hearted Love" and "A Woman A Man Walked By / The Crow Knows Where All The Little Children Go", particularly the latter whcih is raw, experimental and if playing in your car makes you turn down the volume if you have your window open with a little polite society guilt. I'm sure with time other tracks will bolt on to my favourites. This is a true test of a good album, continual listens unveil new treasures - you have to work at it to reap the rewards.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Angular confessional music - what Polly does best, 9 Jun. 2009
By 
A. Macfarlane (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Woman A Man Walked By (Audio CD)
If you've heard her previous collaboration with John Parish you will know what to expect. If you haven't, this will come as a breath of fresh air to PJ Harvey fans. With Parish there is a mix of low key organ music - which he give wonderful "end of the pier"/freak show/church hymn connotations - to spiky, percussive guitar tunes that let Harvey do the loud abrasive tunes she so excels at.

Harvey's lyrics are a mix of uncomfortably confessional, or unsettling and edgy. They are also cleverly constructed; Leaving California she plays on the similar sounds leaving, living, loving have to superficially suggest a positive theme where the opposite exists. The opening track Black Hearted Love, is PJ at her best - the opening stress of her singing matched by Parish on an elongated first beat. There is an ethereal quality to "The Soldier" carried over from her previous album White Chalk.

Yet another really good offering from PJ Harvey and John Parish. This pair should make more music together.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shining, haunting, scary, beautiful., 19 April 2009
By 
M. C. Cresswell - See all my reviews
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PJ Harvey has always been on the individualistic side of things, being to my mind pretty difficult to classify or put into a box. Her style has varied so much - from the seedy grunge of To Bring You My Love (which is where my connection with PJ starts), to the smart rock of Stories, to the sparse folk anthems of White Chalk. And with this latest album, she's combined it all to produce a varied musical landscape bringing together all of her previous musical styles and adding something indelibly new and PJH to it.

Highlights for me: she always opens her albums with strong numbers, and this is no exception. Black Hearted Love is an accomplished rock belter that sets the bar high; there's something that actually scares me a little about the way she sings the words "lilly-livered little parts" in that mocking, unhinged falsetto in the title track - I really would not want to be on the receiving end of this song's fury, but I do love listening to it; the understated simplicity of The Soldier (a bit like some of the quieter moments of White Chalk); and almost-final track Passionless, Pointless - a sophisticated, polished ethereal masterpiece.

Another intelligent, rich fabric of music from PJ, and a must-have.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ETHEREAL WITH FIRE., 16 Mar. 2009
'Dance hall at Louse point' is perhaps one of my favourite albums of Polly's! It's a dark-horse album which the fans may have overlooked, so in the light of this, i was really excited to learn of a new album with John Parish called 'A Woman a Man Walked By'!
Polly has racked up so many albums with so many feelings and emotions that i was interested to see which route I would be taken this time!
With John Parish providing the music Polly has written some of her best and most expressive lyrics to date, combine this with her many personas which she adopts on practically every track and you have an amazing album!
Polly's albums have always been musical alchemy for me, give each song time and it becomes precious to you! This album needs a few listens, with the listener in different moods, to really come alive!
All of Polly's work has a door which you have to really push against for it to open, but once inside the room is beautiful, vicious, angry, delicate and ethereal.
This album is yet another great work from Polly & John and will sit well with "most" fans who want some grit back after the dream world of 'White Chalk'.
Recommended, in fact essential.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You gotta love her, haven't you? Polly delivers the goods again., 5 May 2009
This review is from: A Woman A Man Walked By (Audio CD)
Polly inexplicably oozes cool. Everything about her is enigmatic; her French seductress cover-art, her effortless New York coolness, her erudite English charm, her ever-shifting chameleonic nature. She is a phantom, a ghost, a mystery; a global citizen, an international star, a guiding lone luminary.
But, hang on a minute: who the hell is John Parish? He doesn't sound all that rock'n'roll, does he? How has he shared the spotlight with everyone's fantasy bandmate? Sure, we accepted Thom Yorke getting to duet with her, and even understood how Josh Homme could get in on the action as a bit of rough appealing to her darker, more punk side, but John Parish? Who is he?

Well, aside from his own band, and production and collaboration with Goldfrapp, Eels, Tracy Chapman, Sparklehorse and Portishead's Adrian Utley, those with longer memories may remember PJ and his' 1996 collaboration, Dance Hall At Louse Point. Those who read liner notes and take a great interest in the world of Ms Harvey will find his dabs all over the mixing desks, guitars, drumsticks and keys of PJ's To Bring You My Love, Is This Desire?, and White Chalk.

You see John has been behind the scenes at Camp Harvey for a long time, producing, providing accompaniment, writing, or simply lending a critical ear. It's for exactly this reason that PJ Harvey & John Parish's second full collaboration isn't the sudden departure some feared - though it still bears the ironically familiar skin-shedding transformation from each record to the next - it sounds just like a PJ Harvey record: unadulterated, unalloyed, unchanged.

It is, however, one of the most raw, bilious explorations of PJ's riot grrl side, her spitting, "That woman man / I want his f*%kin' a*s!" with the same venomous, guttural drawl of Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, on title track `A Woman A Man Walks By'. Indeed, there is a little of the acoustic based, quiet reflection of last year's White Chalk here, but this time it's all punk-abandon, and anarchic black-humour, recalling PJ's very earliest days.
This is some of Polly's most challenging and exploratory work, shifting as it does in pace, tone and style throughout the album: in `Pig Will Not', they seemingly turn the omnipresent rock chaos down to the mere background murmur of a record-player on mute and play an old upright school piano over the song's outro, cutting it dead long before its eventual end - like a sneering, post-rock tribute to Layla. This is a recurrent theme: the restless ADHD of genius unable to focus on one thing, bored too quickly. Far from marring this record though, it makes it one of PJ's most beguiling in years: a collection of dark, witty, and unfettered creativity, anchored by `Black Hearted Love', the record's most straightforward, classic rock track, which acts as a frame-of-reference and a `52-bunker' safe-place for them both as they run-riot in the Hall Of Fame's gardens, not caring to play nice and step inside. John Parish's influence over these recordings is a far cry from a diluted side-project, more a snapshot of PJ playful, and guided by a friend who brings out the very best of her.

J Capeling
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4.0 out of 5 stars A interesting mix of folk, punk, rock and grunge, 22 Oct. 2011
By 
Amillionmiles (Hove, East Sussex) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Woman A Man Walked By (Audio CD)
PJ Harvey has been entertaining her fans for nearly 20 years. "A Woman A Man Walked By" is her ninth studio album and second studio collaboration with John Parish. As expected, the lyrics and vocal arrangements are written by PJ whilst the music and instruments are provided by John. Their unique artistry really pulls together on this release and they manage to create a very dark but sincere piece of work.

"Black Hearted Love" is a great punk rock opener with great musical arrangements. "Sixteen, Fifteen, Fourteen" is more of a punk tune with a folk vibe to it and very strange lyrics but, as a result, is one of the great tracks here. The subtle yet eerie sounding "Leaving California" is much softer but still manages to maintain the dark atmospheric theme of this release. "The Chair" is an interesting and much more erratic creation, but it blends well with the other songs. On the pop ballad "April", PJ's vocals sound very croaky which makes the song much more intriguing than it could have been. "A Woman A Man Walked By/The Crow Knows Where All The Little Children Go" is a very addictive punk folk tune with fantastic lyrics and vocals, and is my favourite song on this album. "The Soldier" is a simple yet captivating acoustic number with a lovely soft melody. In complete contrast, "Pig Will Not" is a very angry and feisty punk track and is another highlight. "Passionless, Pointless" is a solid rock ballad with a sleepy and consistent feel to it. The final track "Cracks In The Canvas" is a short but effective acoustic outro.

With this release, PJ Harvey takes on an interesting and mesmerising journey where we discover her music and creativity all over again. "A Woman A Man Walked By" is one of her most consistent efforts to date and her collaboration with John Parish seems only stronger.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars rewarding and original, 7 April 2009
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Reminiscent of Dance Hall bus definitely original.

Easy listening it is not, but well worth repeat listening.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars P J, 21 Feb. 2014
By 
Mr. J. Cooper "big ears" (maidstone kent uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Woman A Man Walked By (Audio CD)
Not a lot to say really as i order and buy for my son who believs P J is a goddess so thanks for the CD which arrived in good time and well packed and in perfect condition
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