P J Harvey

P J Harvey - The Letter - Single review

There was a time when PJ's anger, eccentricity and passion for what she believes in would stand out and alienate both the artist and the listener for the aforementioned traits. However, PJ's Rid Me' album has recently been used as a blueprint for the works of many heart on sleeve songstresses such as Carina Round, Heather Nova, Jen Gloeckner and to a lesser extent Thea Gilmore. Despite the fact that her last solo album Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea' was released four years hence; Polly Jean does not sound stale and has emerged from the Desert Sessions' with renewed vigor and focus if this poignant offering is anything to go by. The Letter' features typical haunting Harvey instrumentals and vocals that sit in neatly with her terse and lamenting lyrics;

Who is it that writes these days? But you and me, We'll be different.

With intriguing B-sides like Bows & Arrows' comprising of trembling percussion and guitars with blunt yet stabbing vocals that tell of the cruel hand of fate. A typical PJ touch is the use of angelic backing vocals that repeat the word Poison over and over as though each one is a separate stab into the soul. The Sylvia Plath of the music world is back and as emotive as the first viewing of Casablanca '.


Words: David Adair


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