Uh Huh Her
By: Eric Greenwood
PJ Harvey's Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea was my favorite album of 2000, hands down. Yes, it was the slickest album of her career, eschewing the raucous caterwauling of Rid of Me as well as the low-end semi-trip-hop of Is This Desire?, but the rawness and passion of her songwriting couldn't be dulled even by Head's glossy veneer or her studied Manhattan chic. Something in the ensuing four years clearly went awry in her personal life because Harvey's pen has sharpened to a deadly point and her production has reverted back to the grit and grime of her 4-Track Demo period. Harvey never wants to repeat herself, and she goes to extraordinary lengths to prevent it here- even casting aside perfectly good songs only because they remind her of something she may have done before. On Uh Huh Her, Harvey's outlook is bleak and dark and brutally raw and, as always, inextricably linked to sex on every level. A juxtaposition of beauty and ugliness underscores each song, as Harvey unveils diary-style lyrics of murder, obsession, and revenge. She is still the smartest, sexiest, and scariest woman in rock, and Uh Huh Her proves that her output is as crucial as ever.