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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.

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From → 1990s

19 Comments
  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!

    Thanks!

    • 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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBtM0g-yZRU

  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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