Monday, April 13, 2020

This is love

It's unfathomable to me that people might be ignorant of or indifferent to PJ Harvey (as Kim Gordon's selection of Uh Huh Her's 'Shame' on her recent stint sitting in for Iggy Pop underlined, even her less feted albums and tracks are special) - but for those who are, the Guardian's Jude Rogers has put together a brief beginner's guide.

There can be no disputing where to start - 2001's Mercury-winning Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea is bold, bright, fresh, accessible and unapologetically lustful, "one of the best albums ever made about the madness and intensity of new love". Equally, it's hard to disagree with Rogers' suggestion that To Bring You My Love should be among the next three records on the agenda. I'm not convinced by the other two, though. 4-Track Demos ahead of Dry and Rid Of Me? A head-scratcher. The spectral goth-folk oddity of White Chalk over Let England Shake's powerful and poignant commentary on war and empire? Surely not.

In truth, though, such quibbles are inconsequential. Her entire back catalogue - including her most recent release, 2016's The Hope Six Demolition Project, a Polly-Jean-does-politics record that Rogers not unjustifiably describes as "a little simplistic and patronising" - is worthy of investigation.

What are you waiting for?

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