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Dance Hall at Louse Point

4.1 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Oct. 9 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000001E9Y
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #50,987 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Girl
2. Rope Bridge Crossing
3. City Of No Sun
4. That Was My Veil
5. Urn With Dead Flowers In A Drained Pool
6. Civil War Correspondent
7. Taut
8. Un Cercle Autour Du Soleil
9. Heela
10. Is That All There Is?
11. Dance Hall At Louise Point
12. Lost Fun Zone

Product Description


Rather than an official PJ Harvey album, this is a raw, nerve-shredding side project by Harvey and her chief collaborator. The singer lets it rip in primal scream fashion on the third track ("City of No Sun"), which will immediately deter all but the most dedicated of fans from fully exploring the pair's intriguing art punk visions. "Civil War Correspondent" is one relatively accessible point of entry. --Jeff Bateman

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Interesting record. Lots of great stuff here, if not totally satisfying. The music written by long time foil/collaborator/benefactor John Parish. The lyrics written by PJ. PJ has said she loved this record because it challenged her writing skills and she felt she grew quite a bit from the experience, as she was working differently than she had in the past.
There are a few PJ Harvey records I would recommend before getting this one. While there are those who think it is among her best work and love it the most, I think the "typical" fan prefers some of her other titles more. Plus, given the fact that much of the music was beyond her influence, listening to this album first fails to give you a sense of her own musical perspective.
Next to '4-Track Demos', I think this album is her most challenging work and is probably best to explore a little later on. That being said, highlights for me include 'Heela', 'Civil War Correspondent', 'Taut' (though I much prefer live versions from '98 era), 'That Was My Veil'.. well, there are a few more good ones here too. So, I guess I like this album even more than I thought. Lol!
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Format: Audio CD
I don't like every song on here, but it has enough good ones to make it worth buying.
This album is a truly bizarre blend of acoustic and modern.
Like "Send His Love To Me," it's sort of "bluesy" and has an air akin to the bygone days as "Civil War Correspondent" conjures.
Outstanding tracks include the haunting and spell-inducing "Girl," the aching "That Was My Veil" which ends with a harrowing "You told me lies! Lies! Lies!" and of course, "Civil War Correspondent":
"Save your tears for the next who dies... I shout but he don't hear..."
These lines are sung with a passion I've never heard from any other woman in the rock industry. Ever.
The other songs, like "City of No Sun" and all the others, are not as good as the ones I mentioned.
Buy this album is you like the blues and a passionate female voice. If you are expecting "Dry" or "To Bring You..." (her other albums) stay away from it. It will disappoint you...
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Format: Audio CD
As evidenced by the sleeve credits, this album was made by long time PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish and Polly Jean. Parish and PJ have been playing together since their days in Automatic Dlamini, although Parish is perhaps best remembered for his great guitar work on To Bring You My Love. Parish and Polly split responsibilities straight up the middle: he wrote the music and plays most of the instruments and she wrote the words and sings.
The album was intended as accompaniment for a dance piece to be choreographed by Mark Bruce and performed at the South Bank Performing Arts Centre. But given the diversity and undanceability of its tracks, it's hard to imagine what kind of dance performance could be accompanied by it. Even though the individual songs are good, that diversity makes it something less than PJ's other work. Every 'straight up' PJ Harvey album has an artistic focus: each song builds on and relates to every other one, making a narrative, even if an abstract one, leading to a real emotional climax. Dance Hall is just a collection of songs, many of them good or great, but none presented in its best light.
Aside from a couple of pretty but negligible instrumental pieces, 'Girl' and the title track, and one near-instrumental track, 'Lost Fun Zone', Dance Hall relies on Polly's lyrics and singing. 'That Was My Veil' is an immediate standout, a beautifully understated and melodic song. 'Is that all there is?', the old Peggy Lee standard, shows off Polly's acting-through-singing as a bitter yet wistful young woman.
Ironically, though, Dance Hall's best tracks really emerged only during PJ's Is this Desire tour.
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Format: Audio CD
Not an official follow up to Harvey's brilliant "To Bring You My Love", "Dance Hall at Louse Point" is instead a gas stop between the former and her new, equally brilliant "Is This Desire?". Indeed, only true blue Harvey fans need show up at this Dance Hall... And that's not because it isn't any good, just that it isn't what it COULD have been.
Drop the laser on "Rope Bridge Crossing" and you'll get a feel for what this pair does best. It's an ambient blues that builds into two separate choruses, each reaching for the emotional rafters and succeeding. Then try not to be disappointed when "City of No Sun" leaves this behind to wail it up Yoko Ono style. Not that this is a bad thing... Indeed, on "Desire" Harvey shows what CAN be done with this experimental styling when applied to an emotional soundscape. But emotions are exactly what are missing from this record... It is cold and distant in a very robotic way, coming alive only on the quieter moments, like the tender "That Was My Veil" or the bluesy kick of "Heela". Not a bad album, but we expect more from the pair that gave us "To Bring You My Love" and, ultimately, "Is This Desire?".
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