so tell me, why is Kaputt better or worse than Let England Shake?

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it was w/delight that i saw pj harvey open for U2 and weird out the (unfortunately overwhelmingly) musically conservative U2 fanbase. i love pj harvey. LES was certainly one of the top albums of 2011.

― omar little, Thursday, February 9, 2012 2:16 PM (23 seconds ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i saw this tour, too, Omar! omg she KILLED. also she is so beautiful and tiny this is apropos of nothing but i just love her.

horseshoe, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

p.j. harvey weirding people out (see: jay leno) is one of my absolute favorite things to witness

horseshoe, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

white chalk is awesome

pfunkboy (Algerian Goalkeeper), Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

I actually didn't realize that Let England Shake was so ~widely~ lauded. Maybe b/c it got negative reviews from a couple of local critics. But honestly, until the EOY lists came rolling in, I thought its reputation was more mixed, an ambitious album that doesn't always succeed.

jaymc, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah i was just gonna mention that leno performance!

i've only seen PJH live four times but she was amazing each time - i keep ending up seeing her in "event" venues (first ever rock gig at the tate modern during the stories era - her worst album but she killed it live; at the troxy to kick off the LES tour, and at the royal albert hall to conclude it)

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

i saw her on the uh huh her tour, and that's probably the album of hers that means the least to me, but she decided to play all the loudest songs in her catalogue and it was delightful.

horseshoe, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

I haven't felt anything I might say about it would be better or more interesting than what others have already said. I try (mostly unsuccessfully) to watch out for those situations.

Destroyer is a case where lots of people say rong things, so it motivates me to say more than I normally would about such a p4k feted album. Whereas if a critic likes Let England Shake they're usually in the ballpark of capturing why it's such a compelling album and then the key variable is how good a writer they are, with nuance vs grandstanding being a vector. If it needs more work from a critical perspective it's probably in lyrical analysis but as I normally let it wash over me I'm certainly not the person for it.

Tim F, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

PJ Harvey : weird :: Salvador Dali : trippy

Clarke B., Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

i think pj was the last time U2 had someone 'challenging' open for them. they had a good run of those for awhile (public enemy, for one), but the last several times i saw them it was black eyed peas, no doubt, damian marley, kings of leon.... : /

maybe they should corral destroyer for a show?

omar little, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

Man, White Chalk is probably my least favorite PJH album. But I can also imagine coming around to it at some point

Mine too – the monotony of mood.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

I like LES but I don't love it the way I love some of PJ Harvey's other albums - there are a few songs I'm not crazy about and the production seems kind of thin at times. Sonically, White Chalk evokes ghostliness and dread far more effectively for me (though I realise the two are very different records).

Gavin, Leeds, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

white chalk is a perfect album to listen to when you're ill.

Destroyer is a case where lots of people say rong things

oh it really really is

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

I loved Uh Huh Her at the time but now it sounds like she compiled castoffs for the sake of clearing out one phase of her career to begin another (and it looks more like the case now).

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

I was looking forward to seeing PJ in Manchester on the Is This Desire? tour, but she got laryngitis the day of the show. :/

I then saw her in Chicago two days after 9/11, and she was awesome.

jaymc, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

what PJH era did she open for U2 in?

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

right after stories from the city, i want to say?

horseshoe, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

ha! weirding U2 fans out in what was probably the least weird phase of her own career

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

The pj album I actually feel moved to write about is a woman a man walked by - which is both very underrated and also prefigured a lot of let England shake (moreso than white chalk despite the shared sense of brittleness with that album).

Tim F, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

spring 2001, yeah

omar little, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah that album even sounds a little u2-y to me. tbf, people didn't seem weirded out at the show i saw.

xxp

horseshoe, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

tim, please write abuot it!

horseshoe, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

other opening acts on the tour included stereophonics, garbage, no doubt, nelly furtado, jj72...

omar little, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

not sure people were "weirded out" per se, but more like "lol well this is different i guess!!!!"

omar little, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

yes, write about it! AWAMWB is the only PJH album that means, like...nothing to me. i don't have any antipathy towards it, but i listened to it like twice and never felt compelled to return, which for someone i love as much as PJH is deeply anomalous.

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's ok to just say you don't like something or that it's just not for you without having to come up with some grand reason why it's a failure of an album or what's deficient about it

otm, the lack of recognition of this is wearying. how many billions of words/minutes are wasted on this?

I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

AWAMWB is the only PJH album that means, like...nothing to me. i don't have any antipathy towards it, but i listened to it like twice and never felt compelled to return, which for someone i love as much as PJH is deeply anomalous.

Same here, I liked it more than I liked Uh Huh Her or 4 Track Demos but I can't really think of anything to say about it so yeah I'd be interested to read Tim's take.

Gavin, Leeds, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

LES and kaputt both got 8.8 BNM on p4k o_O

radiant silverfish (diamonddave85), Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

also LES was #4 on p4k countdown to kaputt's #2, which isn't that huge of a difference. i don't understand how kaputt ends up being so much more lauded but p4k than LES. aside from the fact that you know destroyer and p4k are both indie fuxx

radiant silverfish (diamonddave85), Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

lauded by*

radiant silverfish (diamonddave85), Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

well it's pretty obvious iatee hasn't actually listened to it, and it's also obvious passim that he's a div, so why bother w/him

Have you listened to Kaputt yet?

Laughing Gravy (dog latin), Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

23 pj harvey news stories in 2011 on pitchfork, 10 destroyer news stories in 2011

radiant silverfish (diamonddave85), Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm the wrong kind of listener for PJ, I think. I care next to nothing about lyrics, next to nothing about Grand Artistic Concerns in music, and although I'm sort of ashamed of the fact that I do it, I pretty much immediately recoil from any artist who tends to be received in the way she does--that sort of near-unanimous acknowledgement of an album as Important Art. It puts me right off and makes me predisposed to be dismissive.

Clarke B., Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

you know the only reason you can get angry about the mathematical placement w/i a ranking is if the numbers actually have some magic validity, and if they do, then too bad, destroyer is objectively better, I mean look at it, it has a (1) next to it. outside of that these are two albums that lots of people liked a lot.

iatee, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

any artist who tends to be received in the way she does--that sort of near-unanimous acknowledgement of an album as Important Art

lol it was not always such

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

i mean i think the "1" suggests that destroyer reached more people than pj harvey and therefore was more of a success and we simply have to face those facts.

omar little, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

if you carted over 5 pj harvey fans to ilm in time for the poll, suddenly pj harvey would have the magic (1) in front of her, maybe that should be something people prepare for in advance next time, big cart of pj harvey fans

iatee, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

no shame in coming in second place for PJ, but destroyer was #1, so...

omar little, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

let england shake is a more p4k album than kaputt and therefore worse.

radiant silverfish (diamonddave85), Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

lol it was not always such

Really? PJ Harvey's first four studio albums were all top 10 on P&J, and critics like Greil Marcus used to speak of her in the same breath as Elvis.

jaymc, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

<i>lol it was not always such</i>

You're right... And I used to be put off by her reception as a giantess of Alterna- back in the '90s!

Clarke B., Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

I care next to nothing about lyrics, next to nothing about Grand Artistic Concerns in music,

Clarke, I'm pretty much the same way, which is why I'm often surprised I like PJ as much as I do. But there's also stuff she's done that bores me.

jaymc, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'd like to sit with her more; plenty of folks on here and elsewhere whose tastes I admire and respect rep for her. It's just hard for me to get past the way she's framed in the discourse (and that's a shortcoming of me as a listener, I freely admit).

Clarke B., Thursday, 9 February 2012 20:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

PJ HARVEY SIT ON MY FACE

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 9 February 2012 20:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

so there aren't any canonical artists you like clarke?

i'm anti-canon as a matter of principle but i find it hard to believe.

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 20:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

not listening to music because its 'in the canon' is the most stupid thing ever. I'd even question how much you like music if you do that. People who do this seem more interested in the theory rather than the actual music.

pfunkboy (Algerian Goalkeeper), Thursday, 9 February 2012 20:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

you're not even interested in the theory of music if you blanket reject canonical music; you are interested in the fashion of music

I spend a lot of time thinking about apricots (DJP), Thursday, 9 February 2012 20:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

i was thinking more along the lines of a journalists theory of what music should be but yeah that too

pfunkboy (Algerian Goalkeeper), Thursday, 9 February 2012 20:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

Really? PJ Harvey's first four studio albums were all top 10 on P&J, and critics like Greil Marcus used to speak of her in the same breath as Elvis.

to be fair every greil marcus breath is about elvis

Whiney vs. (BradNelson), Thursday, 9 February 2012 20:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

There are tons and tons of canonical artists I like! But they're typically firmly in the past at this point... I'm not so much anti-canon (I actually find it interesting and culturally significant/important the way we create and alter and evolve our various canons) as I am anti- obvious attempts at canon-building. With an album like this that's been out less than a year, it feels like straining to try and force it into a canon so soon. People have barely had time to live with the album and grow with it, you know? I think I dislike when I can see the seams of critical straining to assign importance and lasting value to something so newly created.

Clarke B., Thursday, 9 February 2012 20:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

We're so terrified of not recognizing a masterpiece when it first gets released that we push really hard in the other direction.

Clarke B., Thursday, 9 February 2012 20:16 (2 years ago) Permalink


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