Tuesday, February 14, 2012


One artist who Larry Flick and I never ever ever EVER agree on is PJ Harvey. She is one of my favorite artists ever, I was glad to see her in VH1's 100 Greatest Women in Music special tonight.  She'd be in my top 20 for sure.

Just watching the montage of images of her was pretty cool. She doesn't really remind me of any other artist, but if I had to pick one, it would be Bowie. Someone on the show said this, but every PJ Harvey album has a concept (and I always felt the same was true for Bowie).  As with Bowie, she has a look for each album. And not a look that a stylist is coming up with. I never feel like a "fashion expert" tells Bowie what to wear.  And I doubt any such "expert" would survive telling Polly what outfits she should be rockin'. Certain albums feature her playing certain instruments.  Some albums are guitar albums. One was a harp album. Sometimes, she's only singing. It's almost like she inhabits a different character every time, and each character has a different take on life, a different style, a different talent. She has a vision for every single thing that she does. You never get the sense that she's putting out an album because it's been two years since her last one.  When I think of artists who should get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the next few years, she's on the shortlist.

She's put out so many classic albums.  Her first two, 1992's Dry and 1993's Rid Of Me, are raw as hell, and they're as heavy as Slayer. Then she completely changed things up on her third LP, 1995's To Bring You My Love, produced by Flood. I've never heard anything like that album before or since.

In 2000, she put out Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea, which I love (although she's kind of said that she doesn't like that one). It's a cleaner, almost arena ready sound (and in fact, the songs sounded great when she performed them at Madison Square Garden opening for U2). But she never repeated that either. Then, last year's Let England Shake was one of her most challenging and rewarding LPs. It topped critics polls (in the U.K., not as much here in the U.S.) and was my ninth favorite album of 2011.

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