Uh Huh Her [Explicit Lyrics]

( 4 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
There's no shortage of tear-spilling singer-songwriters, but when it comes to spilling blood -- her own or that of the people she's moved to write about -- Polly Jean Harvey stands alone. Uh Huh Her, Harvey's first album in four years, finds her in particularly cutting mode, reflected in the stripped-down presentation, which harks back to early albums like Rid of Me and Dry. The disc kicks off in especially ominous tones, thanks to the threatening bass line that introduces "The Life and Death of Mister Badmouth," on which Harvey intones her intention to take the memory of the title character and "wash it out." She's fairly composed on that track, but a couple of songs ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
There's no shortage of tear-spilling singer-songwriters, but when it comes to spilling blood -- her own or that of the people she's moved to write about -- Polly Jean Harvey stands alone. Uh Huh Her, Harvey's first album in four years, finds her in particularly cutting mode, reflected in the stripped-down presentation, which harks back to early albums like Rid of Me and Dry. The disc kicks off in especially ominous tones, thanks to the threatening bass line that introduces "The Life and Death of Mister Badmouth," on which Harvey intones her intention to take the memory of the title character and "wash it out." She's fairly composed on that track, but a couple of songs later, "What the F*ck" finds her absolutely apoplectic, loosing epithets and wordless guttural snarls into a maelstrom of jagged riffs. There's a good bit of sonic chaos in store on this self-produced album -- "Cat on the Wall," with its fuzz guitar and buried vocals, strafes the senses with purposeful difficulty -- but Harvey's an accomplished enough mood creator to convey doom and desolation in her quietest moments. That's the tack taken on the whisper-soft "The Desperate Kingdom of Love" and "The Pocket Knife," a neo-medieval allegory rejecting the strictures of a damaging relationship. Uh Huh Her is draining to experience -- as it must have been to make -- but once experienced, it's sure to linger in the psyche for a good long time.
All Music Guide - Heather Phares
Even though she's not quite as overt about it as Madonna or David Bowie, PJ Harvey remains one of rock's expert chameleons. Her ever-changing sound keeps her music open to interpretation, and her seventh album, Uh Huh Her, is no different in that it departs from what came before it. Uh Huh Her -- a title that can be pronounced and interpreted as an affirmation, a gasp, a sigh, or a laugh -- is, as Harvey promised, darker and rawer than the manicured Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea. That album was a bid for the mainstream that Harvey said she made just to see if she could; this album sounds like she made it because she had to. However, despite the playful tantrum "Who the Fuck?" and the noisy mix of pent-up erotic longing and frustration that is "The Letter," Uh Huh Her isn't the Rid of Me redux that one might envision as a reaction to the previous album's gloss. Instead, Harvey uses some of each of the sounds and ideas that she has explored throughout her career. The gallery of self-portraits, juxtaposed with snippets of Harvey's notebooks, gracing Uh Huh Her's liner notes underscores the feeling of culmination and moving forward. The results aren't exactly predictable, though, and that's part of what makes songs like "The Life and Death of Mr. Badmouth" interesting. Earlier in Harvey's career, a track like this probably would have exploded in feral fury, but here it simmers with a crawling tension, switching atmospheric keyboards for searing guitars. Indeed, keyboards and odd instrumental flourishes abound on Uh Huh Her, making it the most sonically interesting PJ Harvey album since Is This Desire? Lyrically, heartache, sex, and feminine roles are still Harvey's bread and butter, but she manages to find something new in these themes each time she returns to them. "Pocket Knife" is an especially striking example: a beautifully creepy murder ballad, the song conjures images of hidden feminine power -- a pocketknife concealed by a wedding dress -- as well as lyrics like "I'm not trying to cause a fuss/I just wanna make my own fuck-ups." "You Come Through," meanwhile, is nearly as direct and vulnerable as anything that appeared on Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea. Uh Huh Her isn't perfect; the track listing feels top-loaded, some of the later songs, such as "Cat on the Wall" and "It's You" come close to sounding like generic PJ Harvey if such a thing is possible, and the minute-long track of crying seagulls is either a distraction or a palate cleanser, depending on your outlook. Still, Uh Huh Her does so many things right, like the gorgeous, Latin-tinged "Shame" and the stripped-down beauty of "The Desperate Kingdom of Love" one of a handful of short, glimpse-like songs that give the album an organic ebb and flow, that its occasional stumbles are worth overlooking. Perhaps the most nuanced album in PJ Harvey's body of work, Uh Huh Her balances her bold and vulnerable moments, but remains vital.
New York Times - Kelefa Sanneh
A beautiful, thorny album painted in broad, rough strokes.
Entertainment Weekly - David Browne
Uh Huh Her reasserts that Harvey, now the grande dame of [her] genre, remains unrivaled. Rather than be bested by her obsessions and anger, she uses them for fuel. (A)

A beautiful, thorny album painted in broad, rough strokes.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/8/2004
  • Label: Island
  • UPC: 602498667132
  • Catalog Number: 000275102
  • Sales rank: 121,611

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Life and Death of Mr Badmouth
  2. 2 Shame
  3. 3 Who the F*ck?
  4. 4 The Pocket Knife
  5. 5 The Letter
  6. 6 The Slow Drug
  7. 7 No Child of Mine
  8. 8 Cat on the Wall
  9. 9 You Come Through
  10. 10 It's You
  11. 11 The End
  12. 12 The Desperate Kingdom of Love
  13. 13 The Darker Days of Me & Him
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
PJ Harvey Primary Artist, Vocals, Various
Rob Ellis Percussion, Drums, Background Vocals
Evelyn Isaac Background Vocals
Mister Head Background Vocals
Mr. Head Background Vocals
Technical Credits
PJ Harvey Composer, Producer, Engineer, Audio Production
Mister Head Engineer
Rob&Maria Artwork
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    She just keeps going. . . .

    The little lady near the top of her form. As we observe popular music's continuing decline, PJ just keeps turning out terrific rock. She's got talent and integrity - a rare combination.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Back to early Harvey.

    I am not going to make this review long. I give this album 5 effin stars because it's just amazing and full of moxy. I am so proud of PJ Harvey, Stories From The City... wasn't a bad album but I thought she would never recover from those musical styles she picked up lately. I was so wrong! PJ has the same stuff that she had during Dry and Rid Of Me. If you lost touch with PJ after Is This Desire? then this is the album to get back in touch with the bad arse PJ.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    PJ Harvey comes full circle.

    From the beginning PJ wasn’t one to hind behind pretty, safe lyrics. After all, this is the same girl that sang, “Robert DeNiro sit on my face” on 1995’s B-side track Reeling. Now, two studio albums later, she’s back with a vengeance with 2004’s Uh Huh Her. PJ’s last outing, the beautiful Stories from the city, Stories from the sea found her singing the praises of love and happiness, a first for the Queen of tragic misery. But, nonetheless, Polly was at the top of game. On Uh Huh Her, Polly is ready to dive head first into the darkness that plagued her prior releases. The opening track The Life and Death of Mr Badmouth, is a testimony to just how wrong a relationship could go, and Polly pulls out all the stops to tell us just how pissed off she is. She also travels back to her teen years on the dark track It’s you, sneaking to alleyways to kiss a boy and lying to her mother in order to do it. The topic of marriage also pops up a few times throughout the album. On the beautiful Shame, she sings about not needing “A ball and chain”. She also refuses to marry on the tambourine driven The Pocket Knife, where we find Polly pleading, “Please don’t make my wedding dress, I’m to young to marry yet”. She also battles the question of marriage on The Slow drug, she sings, “Still the question lingers. I twist it round my fingers. Could you be my calling?” Polly tries many different styles of music, she also ventures into many different territories vocally. But make no mistake, She shines all the way through the 13-track set. If I had to single out any one song, it would have be, The Tragic Kingdom of Love. With its brutally honest lyrics, to the innocents of her voice, Polly shows us just how she has grown as a musician. The other track worth mentchening is the yell out riot, Who The F#ck, a punching bag of a song that Polly has a lot of fun with, a reminder that the old angst ridden girl is still around. I think this is Polly’s best work since 1995’s To Bring You My Love. My highest complements to the Rock Goddess Queen!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews