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Thread: Uh Huh Her

  1. #1
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    Uh Huh Her



    PJ HARVEY
    UH HUH HER

    (ISLAND)
    Released: May 2004
    Chart: UK No.12 / US No.29

    • The Life and Death of Mr. Badmouth
    • Shame
    • Who the Fuck?
    • Pocket Knife
    • The Letter
    • The Slow Drug
    • No Child of Mine
    • Cat on the Wall
    • You Come Through
    • It's You
    • The End
    • The Desperate Kingdom of Love
    • - Seagulls -
    • The Darker Days of Me and Him


    After the success of Stories..., Polly stated her intention: "I wanted this record to be simple, I wanted it to be ugly in some places, I wanted it to have a swagger to it... but also a real honesty and intimacy. I wanted a warmness and closeness and I wanted to make a welcoming record." Largely recording and producing the album alone, Polly plays all instruments save for the drum tracks, which are played by Rob Ellis. She described the experience as "one of the hardest pieces of work I've ever done... I couldn't say that this record was an enjoyable experience. I think it was a journey that I learnt an enormous amount from, but certainly there were very enjoyable moments... I mean when I look back on it now it was a very difficult, hard and taxing time, and yet I'm so glad I did it – so glad."

    Uh Huh Her was supported by a tour documented in live DVD Please Leave Quietly, and yielded the singles "The Letter," "You Come Through," and "Shame," plus promo single "Who the Fuck?"



    __________________

    - SINGLES -

    THE LETTER
    Released: May 2004
    Formats: 2 CDs, 7" vinyl
    Chart: UK No.28
    Tracks: The Letter / The Falling / The Phone Song / Bows and Arrows





    YOU COME THROUGH
    Released: July 2004
    Formats: 2 CDs, 7" vinyl
    Chart: UK No.41
    Tracks: You Come Through / Stone / Angel / Who the Fuck? (4-Track)





    SHAME
    Released: September 2004
    Formats: CD, 7" vinyl, DVD
    Chart: UK No.45
    Tracks: Shame / Dance / 97 Degrees





    NOTE: "Who the Fuck?" and "Cat on the Wall" were also released as promo singles.





    Plus - the B-Sides US maxi single (October 2004) which features: The Falling / The Phone Song / Bows and Arrows / Angel / Stone / Who the Fuck (4-track)

    Last edited by menju56; 12-24-2010 at 05:27 PM.

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    Kind of a patchwork album. All sorts of different genres and expirements. It's fun to listen to, but a bit of a mess. I find some songs aren't that great, but some career higlights as well. Overall it's pretty good, but a bit subpar consider her past ones.

    Shame is an all time favorite and The Letter is quite clever and an awesome rock single. Desperate Kingdom is such a sweet and smartly written gem and The Darker Days Of Me & Him features one of her best melodies. Badmouth is probably one of her worst lyrically pieces (seriously wash your mouth out with soap?), but is pretty strong melodically. The tour was awesome, but the DVD didn't seem to capture the same energy though it's good.

  3. #3
    Hurt people hurt people too toriMODE's Avatar
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    I really had high hopes after hearing Who the Fuck Live before the release of the album. But after hearing it on the album, it just didn't come off with the same humor and vigor that the live incarnation had. Regardless, this album has held out to the test of time over the years. I go back to it to listen to The Darker Days of Me and Him, It's You, The End, The Slow Drug, and The Letter. Actually I thought The Letter was a genius single, and I loved her yellow get-up and yellow big gloves she'd wear on her tv performances of the song. Also, I love the live versions of You Come Through - the instrumentation is really interesting for that one.

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    it's an album that I like, but nothing more.

    Who The Fuck was a fav from the beginning, but has faded a little since. Shame is still very high on the list. In fact, I realise that it's one of those PJ Harvey albums that I don't know that well - I might still discover some new stuff on it

    when it came out, I lived in a house with two other people, one of them being a dj with some fun & good taste in music. He was aware of PJ Harvey before, but did not seem to give her that much thought until that album. Him and his friends were all over it. And I remember thinking, I'm missing something. So I gave the album a try, and one more and more and so on, but no, it remained to be nice instead of good.

  5. #5
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    It's one of those that I tend to forget how good it is. I completely agree with the whole patchwork/collage thing and she took that theme right to the artwork and the tour (the artwork is, imo, fantastic.)

    She seemed pretty disappointed with how it turned out afterwards in interviews and even cited "Cat on the Wall" I think as being weak; while I appreciate and admire her honesty and candour, I do think she's hard on herself a lot of the time - a lot of these songs are up there with the best of her career and several really do look forward and do something new rather than being "too PJH." After this record I did think it might be her last record either for good or for a long time - she seemed disheartened and then I think the NME mis-reported that she announced her last date of the tour was her last date ever. So I was thrilled and relieved that she came back relatively quickly with White Chalk which seemed to revitalise her artistically.

    But no, UHH is not the disappointment Polly would sometimes have you believe!

  6. #6
    best finest surgeon JHV's Avatar
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    The two ballads that close this album, Desperate Kingdom of Love and Darker Days of Me & Him, are two of Polly's finest. I like the rest of the album, but those two are the biggest stand outs for me. There's a simplicity to both of them that makes the longing in both more piercing.

    Here's an excellent performance of Desperate Kingdom from 2007:


    On another note, I think Stone is one of Polly's best b-sides. I love her vocal on it so much.

  7. #7
    the unhappy worker waitressboy's Avatar
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    And more or less by this time of her career she wrote "My friends have" for Marianne Faithfull, and that's a kick-ass song.
    PJ should cover it some time.

  8. #8
    testosterone-laden drunken moogle Spikey's Avatar
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    To date, this is the highest charting album by PJ in the Netherlands. "It's You" is probably one of the most underrated songs in PJ's catalogue. But really, I love this album and all of it's b-sides to death.

  9. #9
    An interesting interview from 2004 before the UHH Tour (gleaned from the Garden):



    Quite long but she goes into depth about particular recording techniques used on Uh Huh Her and the significance of some of the songs.

  10. #10
    Crow Winger Bruce's Avatar
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    That was an excellent interview. I loved the bit about her and her brother being kids shouting out requests at Stones gigs. And all of the information regarding the making of Uh Huh Her. Not my favorite album of hers, but I'm feeling the need to go listen to it now.

  11. #11
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    The gloves!


  12. #12
    Hurt people hurt people too toriMODE's Avatar
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    I remember loving her gloves when she wore this outfit during her performances.

  13. #13
    worth a million in prizes .chris's Avatar
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    The album did end up producing a kick ass tour. So much energy, I was really blown away when I saw her in concert. I wish the live DVD was a more traditional live DVD than the hodgepodge it turned out to be.

  14. #14
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    I actually really like what they did with Please Leave Quietly; I know that's not a hugely popular opinion but I enjoy it.

    Listened to a few UHH b-sides again tonight. "Bows and Arrows" and "The Falling" are more amazing than I remembered and I'm sort of disappointed they weren't on the album. I also have a soft spot for "The Phone Song." The UHH b-sides are really interesting.

  15. #15
    Ugggggghhhhhhh Octopussy's Avatar
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    I loved Uh Huh Her and all the b-sides to death when it came out. I was going through a weird time then in 2004. The Phone Song was actually my favorite b-side: "If I could tell you anything... That the loop, it can be broken / That your heart, it can be open".

    I used to listen to an extended playlist of my own, instead of the album (I hated the track order at the time) - one of the segues was Badmouth/Phone Song/You Come Through. It just seemed like such a natural fit. I went to see some friends in San Francisco that summer, stayed there for over a month, and my Uh Huh Her mix was a constant companion. I remember stargazing and listening to The Phone Song... god, just typing this is making me nostalgic.
    Last edited by Octopussy; 01-20-2011 at 01:26 AM.

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