Awaiting her new album, of which I know absolutely nothing – but that’s ok because PJ Harvey is very secretive and doesn’t reveal any details about her new albums until she’s about to release the album itself – we thought it would be nice to pay homage to one of the most exciting and original alternative female musicians of the past 20 years. She’s never done anything twice and her albums are so different from each other one might say they’re written by different people. But PJ Harvey is unmistakable. Let’s have a look at the best PJ Harvey albums so far.
1. Is This Desire?
Is This Desire? is PJ Harvey’s fourth album released in 1998, and showed a more experimental side of her brilliant music. She incorporated elements of electronic music like drum machines and heavy synths to build a very claustrophobic and intense atmosphere. In interviews she stated that she told her musical producer that she wanted a quiet album, so quiet that the listener had to literally put their ears close to the speakers in order to hear what she sang in some of the songs. The effect is creepy and erotic at the same time and on some of the songs you have the feeling PJ Harvey is whispering in your year. Some of the best songs on the album are A Perfect Day Elise, My Beautiful Leah, The Garden, Catherine and Is This Desire? Lyrically, the album tells dark stories of murderous lovers, heartbreak and insane female characters, themes that made Polly Jean Harvey famous. Is This Desire? is one of the best PJ Harvey albums, a beautiful and strange piece of music filled with poetic storytelling.
2. To Bring You My Love
To Bring You My Love was released in 1995 and it’s the third album in PJ Harvey’s career. It’s her first “solo” album, after she parted ways with the other two band mates she had on the first 2 albums. On To Bring You My Love era she really loved to dress up and her concert costumes were very theatrical: wigs, heavy makeup and eccentric dresses. PJ Harvey described her look as “Joan Crawford on acid”. This kind of sums it up. Musically, she experimented a lot with her voice and with other musical instruments. Favorite songs off the album include To Bring You My Love, C’mon Billy, The Dancer, Teclo and Send His Love To Me. Some critics say that this is one of the best PJ Harvey albums in which she showed her musical and lyrical genius at its full capacity. This was also one of her most successful album.
3. White Chalk
White Chalk, or how I like to call it, “the ghost album” is PJ Harvey’s seventh album, which came out in 2007. It came as no surprise that she will take a totally different turn from her previous albums, and PJ Harvey stunned once again with her powerful, haunting, ghostly piano songs. She said in interviews that although she could hardly play the piano, it gave her a lot freedom when playing it. This is probably her most personal album and her most fragile. PJ Harvey’s voice sounds better than ever, with her high pitch vocalizing and mournful chords. She sounds like a Victorian ghost trapped in a dark castle on top of a cliff, surrounded by heavy seas. Songs like The Devil, Dear Darkness and The Mountain manage to break the listener’s heart and set it free at the same time. That’s the magic of PJ Harvey’s music. White Chalk is definitely one of the best PJ Harvey albums, one which manages to transcend genre, time and space.
This was our top 3 of the best PJ Harvey albums. Are you a PJ Harvey fan? Which album is your favorite?