PJ Harvey: Uh Huh Her

first_imgThe seventh long player from P J Harvey is a return to form. The follow up to Stories from the City, Stories from the Seasees Harvey returning to a much more acoustic sound, very different to the lush production of Stories. At first, Harvey seems to have calmed down; the cover shows her looking composed, passive even, and the initial track ‘Badmouth’ is a melodic refrain revolving around the repetition of “wash it, wash it out.” But judging by ‘Who the Fuck’ (a track which, if we are to take it literally is a story of a bad haircut) Harvey is as angry as ever. The overall impression of Uh Huh Her is not one of anger; rather the album gives a clear sense of Harvey’s particular brand of humor. From the minute-long interlude of seagull’s squawking to the lyrics of ‘Who the Fuck,’ “I’m not like your’ girls, you can’t straighten my curls,” against a background of screaming guitars Harvey seems to be resisting taking herself too seriously. Because of its less polished sound, Uh Huh Her sounds more emotionally raw and encompasses Harvey’s entire vocal range, from the shrieking ‘Radio Oh Oh,’ to the hushed and melancholic ‘No Child of Mine.’ The album gets quieter towards the end, which allows Harvey’s lyrical poignancy to come to the fore. On first hearing, Uh Huh Herappears to vacillate from one end of the emotional spectrum to another, but on closer inspection it presents a coherent depiction of love in the Twentyfirst Century.ARCHIVE: 6th week TT 2004last_img

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