Tag Archives: PJ Harvey

People say they like Best of Lists…2012 version

16 Dec

PJ Harvey-Let England Shake
This is the first PJ album that did not make me wish she would return to the power-trio Rid of Me, angry Ms. Harvey I love so. Adventurous sampling and instrumentation, hypnotic songs, and thematic lyrics made it the album of the year.

Kurt Vile-Smoke Ring For My Halo
Vile is the new Tom Petty according to some, but in reality he’s just continuing the absurd roll he started with Constant Hitmaker. There’s just so many great lazy slurred Americana songs on this album, that it’s almost a greatest hits collection.

Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi-Rome
Ennio Morricone meets Air meets the earnestness of Norah Jones. Oh and it’s also Danger Mouse soundtracking an imaginary 70s Italo film, which makes for a great listening experience.

Jessica Lea Mayfield-Tell Me
Very young, absurdly talented, and came out with an album that reminded me of an electro-sexual version of Lucinda Williams.

The Go Team-Rolling Blackouts
There are few albums I listened to more than this oddly enough. The saccharine explosion, scrappy raps and punchy horns are every thing you expect from this band, the long-lasting appeal of the songs are still a surprise though.

Yuck-Yuck
Yes you like Galaxie 500, yes you like Yuck. Like the album, a couple of super-memorable songs mixed with some perfectly ok, that sounded far better live, which helped me understand the greatness far more.

Cloud Nothings-Cloud Nothings
It was consistent, indie pop goodness, which made for an album that didn’t have a single song I didn’t like on it. And new Albini-esque single No Future/No Past only enhances its power.(Yes this song is on the next album, but still I’m rating and I’m allowing it to boost the score.)

Regina-Soita Mulle
I don’t know Finnish, but the wistfulness and smoothness of this album just works so well. A welcome surprise.

Girls-Father, Son, Holy Ghost
I didn’t like this when I first heard it, but once I realized that the band isn’t so shoegaze and more from The La’s school of jangle pop I got it. It’s a bit top heavy, but also has one of the best first sides in a long time.

Kanye West and Jay Z-Watch The Throne
Finally a hip hop album that you can roll out to! Enough shitty rappers, backpackers, and skaters/rappers. I want something that embodies the arena-rock era of hip-hop in the same way Toys in The Attic by Aerosmith does. And like Eli they deed it.

Wild Flag-Wild Flag
Carrie Brownstein is the lead on everything(no one stops her rock moves, seriously), the players are all pros, and it’s a great big 70’s rock out. That’s more than enough to get on this list. Something Came Over Me, could be my favorite song of the year as well.(It’s top 5 at least)

Biosphere- N-Plants
Strange coincidence and context aside(the album is about Japanese nuclear plants pre earthquakes), this was a really great ambient album in a landscape where those albums don’t come along that often. Fits beautifully with great IDM and ambient records of the past, so it must be good.

Those Darlins-Screws Get Loose
I just like how they sound like The Runaways sloppier more drugged Southern cousins. This album continued the great tongue in cheek madness of the last album, just with more rock and less country which always=win.

Laura Marling- A Creature I Don’t Know
She is a folk star, on her way to being a folk icon. Why don’t you have this album? Oh because you’re American, and we don’t respect her like we should. At least this album sounds like she’s having some fun finally.

Official Congrats To PJ Harvey On The Mercury Prize

7 Sep

I’d say the Mercury Prize gets maybe one out of three right and even then if you look at their shortlist, they tend to choose the year’s better British records pretty well.

However, score one for the music fans today. Now I’m not saying Adele isn’t a great singer, because if you go back to many rants from 2007/2008, you will recall me saying how great 19 was as an album.

Many of you will have also heard that I kind of hate 21, her new album. First off, I hate albums whose whole tonal message is “Giiiiiirl, my man is so bad to me and yet I looooove him!” (This message is also known as the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack  and every country album by a female artist not named Loretta Lynn.) Here’s a thought, how bout not dating a guy who’s such an asshole. It worked for Tina Turner and she=legend!

My two main problems with the 21 album are in fact that

1)21 has become that album that chicks who know nothing about music rep as an album that PROVES they have good taste in music…

2) There is no Mark Ronson production work…which basically leaves a super talented singer to sing behind spare beats that would make Florence and The Machine blush.(and while I’ve supported Florence for years, she will never be a naturally talented as Adele. In fact after her first single I compared her to our Mercury Prize winner, who we’ll get back to later.) Mark Ronson made the late Winehouse sound even greater, Duffy sound half credible, and Nikka Costa a potential world beater with his funky-nouveau 60’s influenced productions full of sass and brass. If you don’t believe me, you can watch the brilliant Cold Shoulder video…which channels a cool Shirley Bassey vibe instead of being all emo and underproduced.(you can google this because this post really isn’t about her)

Now lets get to the WINNER, who is also  the first two-time winner of the Mercury Prize which is none other than PJ Harvey. For 20 years she’s stomped, rocked, and taken chances all over the musical landscape culminating in this fantastic album. Let England Shake really is the best album of the year for scope, risk, memorable songs, and playing to the artist’s strength. Maybe it’s time for all those PJ haters and those that left the bandwagon post Songs of The City to reappraise what’s really going on in modern times! There’s no doubt that this album ranks among her finest achievements and is THOROUGHLY deserving of the Mercury this year!(It is also worth checking out the video version of the album which is in fact on youtube, it’s a cool achievement.)

PJ Harvey-Written On The Forehead

PJ Harvey-The Words That Maketh Murder