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A Woman a Man Walked By

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iTunes Review

After the quiet, meditative piano ballads of White Chalk, one might expect PJ Harvey to strike back with something slightly more direct. But a few extroverted moments aside, she keeps her sound focused on the dream she’s imagining. John Parish has acted as both a band foil, playing co-producer and bandmate on her “solo” albums, and as a co-billed conspirator on 1996’s underrated Dance Hall at Louse Point, and here he adds his extra instrumental input to push Harvey further into the spotlight. “Black Hearted Love” begins things as the sort of melodramatic pop that Harvey plays with like a second nature. “Sixteen, Fifteen, Fourteen” whips up a gypsy chant with its acoustic emphasis. “Passionless, Pointless” sweeps into the ethereal supernatural space where Harvey’s voice defies gravity. “Daniel” is an eavesdropping into a mother’s psychic dislocation as a sense of loss overwhelms the moment. “Leaving California” swoops with a loopy sense of melody and Harvey’s near-mocking falsetto.

Customer Reviews

Polly Jean does it again

Can't believe how good this album is. It gets better with each play. Own it.

Total utter genius

I can't believe how good this album is. It's stunning. Thank you Polly Jean, you are the greatest!!!

woof woof

great album, silly in places but very good


Born: 09 October 1969 in Yeovil, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

During the alternative rock explosion, several female singer/songwriters rose to prominence, but few have proved as distinctive or as widely praised as Polly Jean Harvey. Over the course of her career, Harvey established herself as one of the most individual and influential songwriters of her era, exploring themes of sex, love, and religion with unnerving honesty, dark humor, and a twisted theatricality. At the outset, she led the trio PJ Harvey, which delivered her stark songs with bruisingly powerful,...
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