PJ Harvey


PJ Harvey

The Peel Sessions 1991-2004 (Island)

Phases and Stages
In 1991, John Peel wrote in Melody Maker that PJ Harvey's sound was "admirable if not always enjoyable." Obviously this was a compliment, so it's no coincidence Peel soon became Polly Jean's champion. Selected as tributes to Peel, the influential BBC DJ who passed away in 2004, this decade-spanning collection recalls an era of grit and glam for Harvey. Revived from her first appearance in 1991, "Sheela-Na-Gig" remains a sensual, sweat-soaked romp in dirty sheets ("Look at these my childbearing hips. Look at these my ruby red lips," she coos) as does "Victory," both from Harvey's seductive and ferocious Dry spell. On her 1993 Peel session cover of Willie Dixon's "Wang Dang Doodle," as well as the thrashing indictment of Biblical injustices on "Snake," we get her voice full throttle. "This Wicked Tongue," a Japanese bonus track from Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea, is a welcome and electric indulgence, and "You Come Through," from a 2004 Peel tribute, is undeniably tender ("You come through for me. You be well for me."). A near-perfect collection, if a bit short, but it's easy to see why Peel felt a kinship with Polly Jean.


More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
The Golden Boys
Better Than Good Times (Record Review)

Tim Stegall, Nov. 24, 2017

Texas Platters
The Dan Ryan
Guidance (Record Review)

Rachel Rascoe, Nov. 24, 2017

More by Audra Schroeder
SXSW Interactive Conference Quick Cuts
The Signal & the Noise
Statistician Nate Silver on more data, more problems

March 15, 2013

SXSW Film Reviews: 'Kiss of the Damned'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

March 15, 2013

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)