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Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
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|1. Big Exit|
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|3. A Place Called Home|
|4. One Line|
|5. Beautiful Feeling|
|6. The Whores Hustle and The Hustlers Whore|
|7. This Mess We're In|
|8. You Said Something|
|10. This Is Love|
|11. Horses In My Dreams|
|12. We Float|
Japanese version of the UK alternative act's eagerly anticipated fifth album. 13 tracks including the bonus track 'ThisWicked Tongue'. 2000 release. Standard jewelcase.
Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea--the sixth album from the most incendiary female British performer to emerge in the 1990s--is as powerful a record as any Polly Jean Harvey has made. Masterfully striking a balance between her blues-folk roots, avant-leanings, and soaring pop sensibility, it serves as a summary of Harvey's prior achievements. The abrasive, jagged guitars hark back to her fiery 1992 debut album, Dry, on the ballistic yet anthemic opener, "Big Exit," while the dreamy, opulent closer, "We Float," demonstrates her maturity as a songwriter. The clamor and emotional rush of a heady relationship--particularly on her duet with Thom Yorke, "This Mess We're In"--gives the album a ferocious clarity. The production skills of Mick Harvey (Nick Cave's Bad Seeds) lends depth and assurance. And, though PJ quotes from many influences--the Who, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, and even West Side Story--her indomitable presence shines throughout. Stories from the City is the work of a singular talent at the peak of her powers. --Gavin Martin
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Top Customer Reviews
I simply cannot understand why any fan would want an artist to churn out the same emotions and musical style album after album. So she sounds unapologetically happy on this record, so she's having fun with a few lighter melodies and catchy choruses. Deal with it, grow up. Just because it's not as angry and abrasive as Rid of Me, that hardly means she has "sold out" or "gone soft" - this is the language of elitist underground snobs who take some sadistic, voyeuristic pleasure from the pain in her earlier records. It's a cheap, tired, lazy excuse for not trying to understand when a GREAT artist is coming from a different direction from that which you're comfortably familiar with. I can't see how some people feel there is less depth, range or emotional intensity on this amazing album. She still writes with staggering passion, she still sings with blistering energy, as if her life depended on it; she still rocks harder than anyone else around on tracks like Big Exit, The Whores Hustle and the Hustlers Whore and Kamikaze. There is still plenty room for intense identification with all the heightened emotional extremes on this record. Personal joy and romantic love are emotions that are every bit as valid, true and important for an artist to express as the darker stuff they have established their name doing. The positive mood on songs like Good Fortune or This is Love is just as thrilling, dynamic and exhilarating to behold as the bitter rage of Rid of Me or the mournful melancholy of To Bring You My Love.
I also don't get the criticism that this record is less adventurous or experimental than her previous work like Is This Desire?Read more ›
With that being said, still there are many songs to admire here, particularly 'kamikaze', 'big exit', 'beautiful feeling' among others. Polly Jean Harvey at her worst is still better than most others at their best, so please don't take my critique too harshly.
Oh, and btw. Mick Harvey, who plays on and helped produce this album, is NOT PJs brother. Just good friends who happen to coincidently have the same last name. They've known each other due to Micks affiliation with Nick Cave, being in the Bad Seeds. He's perhaps the most important member of that band and the connection was made during the time that PJ and Nick were a couple. (A little off topic, I know, but worth mentioning).
Most recent customer reviews
Following, in outstanding overall quality, many years on the heels of the superb "Rid Of Me," "Stories From The City" is, for all intents and purposes, a... Read morePublished on June 18 2004 by Lisa A. Flowers
This album is my introduction to PJ Harvey. I must say it's great work even though some people say it's more polished than her earlier albums. Read morePublished on June 14 2004 by Megzi
The editorial review above misses the point - far from being more of the same, Stories from the City breaks into territory PJ Harvey never dared to venture before - peace and... Read morePublished on June 12 2004 by E. Kutinsky
Stories was my introduction to PJ's work, and it's one of my favourite records. Some of the tracks don't grab you and may seem slow, but they eventually grow on you. Read morePublished on May 26 2004
My first real taste of PJ Harvey, recommended to me by a friend, and I thoroughly enjoyed all of it. Read morePublished on May 26 2004 by Philip
Easily PJ's most accessible and immediately catchy album. Many of the songs have soaring anthemic chorus's and the arrangements aren't as dark and skeletal as her previous 2... Read morePublished on May 4 2004 by BBgun9
I've heard many speak of how this album is the "taming down" of the enigmatic Ms. Harvey and while it may turn away some of her fans who prefer her "Dry" days,... Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2004 by Kelly Thompson