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Stories from the City - Stories from the Sea

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iTunes Review

From the ripping opener, “Big Exit,” to the gossamer “We Float,” PJ Harvey’s New York album—Patti Smith and Television homages are duly observed—returns the guitar-led rockism of Dry and Rid of Me to center stage, while grabbing us by the throat with a ringing immediacy unmatched elsewhere in her faultless catalog. It’s a polished synthesis of all the things we’d previously loved about her, rendered in shimmering new colors.

Customer Reviews

Forget the snobs...this is good Harvey!

PJ Harvey fans who go back to "Dry" or "Rid of Me" may reject the slick, mainstream sound of this production, but don't turn up your nose on the basis of snobbish opinion. Polly Jean has displayed some real maturity as a songwriter and vocalist on this set, and Steve Albini was the right man to keep her sound grounded in her roots as she tested new waters. Its a delicate line maintaining a career in music after 10 years without alienating old fans. Critics accuse artists of becoming stale and formulaic when they slavishly stick to their roots, fans scream "sell-out" when the sound borders on mainstream/radio-friendly. Damned if you do or don't. But the great ones, from the Beatles, to Led Zep, to The Police, to U2 all grew, matured, experimented, and yeah -- they sometimes bombed (Consider "Presence" or "Pop" by Led Zep/U2 respectively). Still PJ gets 5 stars for this one -- 4 for the content, and 1 for being brave enough to try something new. True fans won't regret adding this to the collection...I didn't.


The Itunes review for this record is wrong; actually, the review is a carbon copy of the one posted for Rid of Me. Some people said that this is an Albini album. It's not. First, he would never produce something this poppy or slick. It's produced by her former drummer Rob Ellis and Head. With that being said, there's nothing wrong with this album, but there's nothing absolutely amazing about it either. Her lyrics, which tend to be amazing pieces of poetry, were compromised for the more poppy sound and feel. They're just a complete downfall from her predecessor album Is This Desire? Other than that, the music is good, with standouts from Good Fortune, A Place Called Home (very heartfelt hopeful song, new for her), Beautiful Feeling, and The W***es Hustle and the Hustlers W***e. Don't get me wrong, it's an excellent album. However, I disagree with the people that say this is the place to start off with her. If you do this, than your expectations might be let down -she just isn't going to do another poppy album. The rest of her library is much darker, rock oriented and atmospheric. If you want the correct place to start with her, start from the beginning, with Dry. That's a good summary of all of her work.

PJ Harvey perfectly aims towards a "cheerful" album

Influenced by her stay in New York, "Stories" is meant to be her happy album and the music fully makes that true. You Said Something is a beautiful and one of her quiet songs in her collection. Good Fortune gives you the image of New York. Her lyrics are very nicely written and Thom Yorke on The Mess We're In is very well done. PJ Harvey shows her range and her ability to still be relevant in the music world.


Born: October 9, 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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