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Thread: Is This Desire?

  1. #1
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    Is This Desire?



    PJ HARVEY
    IS THIS DESIRE?

    (ISLAND)
    Released: September 1998
    Chart: UK No.17 / US No.54

    • Angelene
    • The Sky Lit Up
    • The Wind
    • My Beautiful Leah
    • A Perfect Day Elise
    • Catherine
    • Electric Light
    • The Garden
    • Joy
    • The River
    • No Girl So Sweet
    • Is This Desire?


    Described in 2004 by Polly as "a very, very difficult, difficult record to make and still one I find very difficult to listen to, but probably my favorite record that I've made because it had a lot of guts," Is This Desire? again found Polly working with co-producer Flood and, this time, Head. It was recorded between the spring of 1997 and spring of 1998 and produced two officially released singles - "A Perfect Day Elise" and "The Wind."

    Polly has also said of the album: "I do think Is This Desire? is the best record I ever made—maybe ever will make—and I feel that that was probably the highlight of my career. I gave 100 per cent of myself to that record. Maybe that was detrimental to my health at the same time."



    ____________________

    - SINGLES -

    A PERFECT DAY ELISE
    Released: September 1998
    Formats: 2 CDs, 7" vinyl
    Chart: UK No.25
    Tracks: A Perfect Day Elise / The Northwood / Sweeter Than Anything / The Bay / Instrumental #3





    THE WIND
    Released: January 1999
    Formats: 2 CDs, 7" vinyl
    Chart: UK No.29
    Tracks: The Wind / Nina in Ecstasy / Rebecca / The Faster I Breathe The Further I Go / Instrumental #2





    NOTE: "Angelene" was released as a promo single

    Last edited by menju56; 12-24-2010 at 05:14 PM.

  2. #2
    Hurt people hurt people too toriMODE's Avatar
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    Is This Desire is the gateway of my becoming a PJ fan. I had heard other songs before, but this album really grabbed me and made me take notice of what a wonderful songwriter Polly Jean is. This remains to be my favorite album. My favorite songs are Joy, The Garden, The River, The Sky Lit Up, A Perfect Day, Elise - practically the whole album. So dark and intriguing. I think it'd be great if she'd remaster it and include some b-sides along with it.

  3. #3
    I'm pretty sure he said "Killdren". Stone's Avatar
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    Icon15

    My favorite album as well.

    rankin.jpg

  4. #4
    best finest surgeon JHV's Avatar
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    I think Is This Desire? is PJ's best album overall, even if some of the other albums have some individual tracks that top anything on here. Having Flannery O'Connor's work as a basis for some of the songs led PJ to come up with some great elaborations on her usual themes.

    The final 3 tracks are all stunning and some of Polly's finest work. The River and ITD are two of her most moving tracks, and they reveal their meaning and beauty slowly. No Girl So Sweet is pure power, I don't think the melding of Polly's vocal and the guitar line will ever stop amazing me. I would kill to see a faithful live performance of the song, the slowed-down version from 1998 doesn't compare to the studio cut.

  5. #5
    What kind of fuckery is this? emptytuileries's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHV View Post
    I think Is This Desire? is PJ's best album overall, even if some of the other albums have some individual tracks that top anything on here. Having Flannery O'Connor's work as a basis for some of the songs led PJ to come up with some great elaborations on her usual themes.
    This. Desire? is probably my favorite record by her and definitely one of my favorite albums ever. I love how patchworky and disjointed it seems, with the long breaks of silence and shifting styles and undertones and such. I have the feeling that all of the songs are pieces in a museum but each one has its own frame/color/story. The title track and "My Beautiful Leah" are among my favorite songs.

  6. #6
    purgatorying Meowth's Avatar
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    i fell in love with the wind by the very first time i listened to it. it's my favorite p j record, very close to to bring you my love

    my first boyfriend introduced her to me with this album but i didn't like her. after we broke up, i just re-discovered her

    i love her at the same level as bjrk and tori

  7. #7
    aging hipster trash The Seaward's Avatar
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    my gateway to Peej and still my favorite, as well.
    I don't understand the question, and I won't respond to it.

  8. #8
    Tens Across the Board Banjee's Avatar
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    best album, with two of my top PJ songs-- Catherine and No Girl So Sweet.

  9. #9
    aging hipster trash The Seaward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loca View Post
    best album, with two of my top PJ songs-- Catherine and No Girl So Sweet.
    oh my GAWD yes. those are my two faves also. and they couldn't be more different.
    I don't understand the question, and I won't respond to it.

  10. #10
    Hurt people hurt people too toriMODE's Avatar
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    I must add that when I initially heard ITD? I did not like "Joy" at all. I thought it was too abrasive, and it took me listening to the live versions of the song to appreciate the craziness of Joy on the record.

  11. #11
    aging hipster trash The Seaward's Avatar
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    i'll never forget this review from Entertainment Weekly (i had a subscription for years) which prompted me to rush out and buy it.

    Polly (PJ) Harvey views love as both a life force and a black hole; those who cling to it like an article of faith are doomed to get burned, living out their lives in some kind of joyless purgatory. Sure, Harvey's a romantic nihilist, but she's also a brilliant formalist, and Is This Desire? may be her most musically daring and fully realized effort. Conjuring chilly, postindustrial soundscapes that sound like assembly workers toiling in hell, her voice floating over everything like a spooked seductress, Desire seethes with hypnotic power. A
    I don't understand the question, and I won't respond to it.

  12. #12
    the unhappy worker waitressboy's Avatar
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    Though the first song I heard was "Down By The Water" (my brother was like 10 years old and he loved the little dance she made with her hands at the end of the video), ITD? was the first album of PJ I bought, and I did it without listening one single song from it.
    I had a really hard time trying to understand what the hell was "Electric light"; it used to be sooooo boring, only the bass and her voice so low. And then one day, don't ask me how, the song clicked on me. It's one of the very few albums I listen without skipping one single song.
    And I love the photo of the dead bird on the booklet.
    What a great year 1998 was...

    I remember I read some time ago, don't remember where, that PJ decided to redo Is This Desire? because she felt the album was too personal or something... Is this right, or is it just my memory playing games with me?
    When he woke up, the dinosaur was still there.

  13. #13
    Ugggggghhhhhhh Octopussy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darwin View Post
    i'll never forget this review from Entertainment Weekly (i had a subscription for years) which prompted me to rush out and buy it.
    haha, I remember that one!! I used to get EW too.

    "assembly workers toiling in hell" must be Joy. Great description.

  14. #14
    it's not meant to be a strife MikeEP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by menju56 View Post
    how have i never seen this before? wow! one of my favorite PJ songs too.

  15. #15
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    really one of my favs by her. Remember hearing it first at a party from my boyfriend's sister. I also have a big love for the pics from this period - just love her hair, her look,... I remember being quite fascinated by the pics from the A Perfect Day Elise single

    Angele, what a way to start the record. For a period, I used this album to get to sleep - most of the time I got there by the time it reached Catherine or Electric Light(both very fascinating songs). My favourite track will always be My Beautiful Leah - it just struck me right in the heart

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