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PJ Harvey – Rid of Me (1993)

February 20, 2015

[Album 378/1001]Rid_of_Me

From what I gather, many have complained about Rid of Me‘s production values; I will not be joining the queue of complainants.

Instead, I found I took a shining to the complete absence of polish.

It’s rough & tough, ragged & jagged, and even if it’s not actually entirely the case, it feels live off the floor (in the best way).  Credit to Steve Albini here: not all of his associated recordings have been universally praised (see discount re-sale bins lined with Razorblade Suitcase) but I think his deliberately abrasive sound complements these 14 tracks nicely.

On the subject of second-hand stores, I’m surprised I was able to find this used.  I can only imagine it was because someone was finished with the cd medium, as opposed to the music/message it contained.

There’s a pick up & go quality to the record that I really admire.  The chord-driven, palm-muted verse/big chorus structures remind me of the songs that inspired countless people like me to form bands and write our own tunes.

While the methods & the music are certainly worth acknowledging, it’s the messenger, PJ the performer & her performance, that leaves the lasting impression.

I realize I’m only really scratching the surface with PJ appreciation.  Last year, my sister told me about a philosophy professor of hers that was so enamored with PJ’s lyrics, he found ways to incorporate them into his lectures.

I’m a bit late to be joining, but after being so impressed by Stories, Dry, and now Rid of Me, I’m getting my self-addressed-stamped-envelope ready to join the Polly Jean Fan Club.

My thanks to the person who exchanged this at The Beat Goes On.  I think it’s safe to say this copy is now out of circulation: I don’t see Me Rid of this CD anytime soon.

With apologies for the Cookie-Monsterish-closing-sentence-mangling-for-the-sake-of-attempted-wordplay.


From → 1990s

  1. Great record and PJ Harvey can do no wrong in my mind. Nice job.

  2. Yup. This really is an exceptional album. Great write up, sir.

  3. I loved this record, back in the day. You’ve inspired me to look it up again! Betcha I’ll love it again.

  4. nicksalbumreviews permalink

    I love PJ Harvey….but don’t know this one. I may have to check this out!


    • You’re quite welcome Nick – am I remembering correctly that you were an in utero fan? If so, I think you’ll approve of the production too!

      • nicksalbumreviews permalink

        Yes, you are right. I love ‘In Utero’ much better than ‘Nevermind’.

        And because of your recommendation, I recently dug out my PJ Collection again – ‘Let England Shake’, ‘Stories From The City…Stories From the Watercooler’ and ‘To Bring You My Love’.

        I’ve recently bought this album on Amazon UK for about £4.99!

      • Excellent – enjoy the PJ revisit Nick, and that’s 4.99 well spent!

  5. I’m a casual listener of PJ so not all of her music stands out to me right away. I do recall the title track from Rid of Me and her uh-mazing live performance on Jay Leno’s show in 1993:

  6. a life changer for me…girls rocked the 90’s.

    • Hear hear!
      I remember we chatted about the brilliance of Celebrity skin at one point, it’s still very much in the rotation here. And there were three girls rocking in that group! I’m a big fan of Melissa auf de Mar’s harmonies on a couple of those tunes

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