I’m In New York No Need For Words Now

July 21, 2010

Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea
PJ Harvey


Not nearly as ragged as her classic first two albums (Dry and Rid of Me), Stories still has an edgy spirit despite the change of mood. PJ is in love and is not the aggro chick we knew from the 90s. From the first song “Big Exit,” we learn that she’s anxious and scared and in her homage to Patti Smith, “Good Feeling,” she feels “the innocence of a child,” not exactly what one expects from an artist who normally sings about tormenting and torturing her lovers. Arguments of conformity aside, Stories is a strong album written by a woman who is stretching her boundaries and kicking around outside the limitations the media and her fans created.
While the album To Bring You My Love seemed to be a commentary on male-driven blues and rock, Stories comes across of a pastiche of American urban life as seen by a white British woman—the fear of urban living married with the excitement of it all; the everyday struggle to be happy along with the everyday struggle to make a dollar. Harvey constantly couples the exhilaration of love with the exhilaration of city life.
For those who are still not convinced, the tracks “The Whores Hustle,” and “Kamikaze,” is an unforced throwback to old-school Polly Jean. However, this side of Stories Polly reveals should be enough to satisfy your needs sufficiently.


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