Certain media outlets may try to convince you that the PJ Harvey "of old" is back for the first time. That the gloss of Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea has rubbed off and our favorite indie art rocker/saucy chanteuse is gritty again, with a new "back to basics" record. Don't believe the hype. Sure, the new LP's title, Uh Huh Her, is primitive, and the compositions therein are sparser, stranger and more mercurial than Stories, but Harvey's an anomaly who's operated on instinct since day one. Uh Huh Her snarls with guitars (Harvey plays all instruments, save drums) on tracks like the randy "The Letter" and "Who the Fuck?" while PJ gnashes teeth and picks up pieces (the album closes on her promise to "limp this love around") during subdued moments that recall Is This Desire?'s haunting disclosures. Clearly bent (but not broken) on expression through exorcism, this is an exposed nerve of a record, and one that's aware of its own damage. This is PJ Harvey being, never simply, PJ Harvey. Simply put: excellent.
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