The waif with the mouth that roars, P.J. Harvey is both the thinking person's feminist, and a smash-mouth rock and roller. In my book, that makes her one of the most exhilarating performers on the planet.
This cd nicely recaps P.J.'s career, with tracks from her debut, "Dry"and most of her projects since then, with the exception of "To Bring You My Love" and "Is This Desire?". All songs were drawn from performances produced by John Peel for the BBC, which gives them a slightly different luster, and a rock solid punch.
P.J.'s songs can be described as little expressionist dramas writ large in black and white, and wonderful balancing acts of dynamics and minimalist sound. She sometimes combines huge shards of grunge rock with absurdist lyrics. Check out "Naked Cousin" , an off-the-wall ditty that paints a picture of a Bacchanalian madman running through the fields in abandon. Sounds weird? Well, it ROCKS like crazy. Her Rainer Ptacek cover, "Losing Ground" is another delight, matching switchblade edginess with Captain Beefheart dissonance. The best track from "Dance Hall at Louse Point"--"That Was My Veil" , is here, along with the prettiest song from "Stories From the City..."("Beautiful Feeling") . The album closes with "You Come Through" done beautifully and sincerely as a tribute to the late John Peel.
This cd is sure to please longtime P.J. fans, and it's a good sampler for the uninitiated.