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Is This Desire

PJ HarveyAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Angelene 3:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Sky Lit Up 1:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. The Wind 4:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. My Beautiful Leah 1:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. A Perfect Day Elise 3:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Catherine 4:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Electric Light 3:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. The Garden 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Joy 3:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. The River 4:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. No Girl So Sweet 2:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Is This Desire? 3:25$0.99  Buy MP3 

Amazon's PJ Harvey Store


Image of album by PJ Harvey


Image of PJ Harvey


“Take me back to England
& the grey, damp filthiness of ages
fog rolling down behind the mountains
& on the graveyards, and dead sea-captains.”
PJ Harvey, The Last Living Rose

PJ Harvey’s new album was recorded in a 19th Century church in Dorset, on a cliff-top overlooking the sea. It was created with a cast of musicians including such long-standing ... Read more in Amazon's PJ Harvey Store

Visit Amazon's PJ Harvey Store
for 32 albums, 30 photos, and 1 full streaming song.

Frequently Bought Together

Is This Desire + To Bring You My Love + Stories From the City Stories From the Sea
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 29, 1998)
  • Original Release Date: September 29, 1998
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Island
  • ASIN: B00000AFFI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,354 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Each of Harvey's previous albums has been a distinct affair as she took steps forward in not only forging her sound but also exploring the wealthy veins of rock & roll. So on first listen, Is This Desire? almost disappoints; it's very close to the same dark, woozy, and bluesy musical territory she staked out on To Bring You My Love. But it's been said that though good stories can be read once, great stories must be read twice, and, like great literature, this album deserves repeated listenings to appreciate its beautiful complexities and subtle shadings. A recommendation: Spend a few nonstop hours with Is This Desire? It will change you. --Tod Nelson

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bloody terrifying November 25, 1999
Format:Audio CD
This may be one of my favorite records of 1998, but it makes for no easy listen. The best songs on this album ( Angeline, The Sky Lit Up, The Wind, My Beautiful Leah, A Perfect Day Elise, Catherine, The Garden, No Girl So Sweet, and Is This Desire?) conjur up rare emotions and sweet atmospheres, but there is also an air of the grotesque. While earlier albums like Dry and Rid Of Me made her emotions known ate blistering levels, Is This Desire makes them known at a whisper. Her songwriting is some of the scariest I have ever heard here (like the line, "God is the sweat running down his back, the water turns her blond hair black.") It's an uncomfortable album, made for sitting in a chair watching your knuckles turn white.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why can't this be available?!? August 6, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This 'extra tracks' version of "Is This Desire?" is amazing. It includes the actual album plus another cd along with it that has tracks ["The Northwood," "Sweeter than anything," "The Bay," and an instrumental] from the "Perfect Day Elise" singles. "The Northwood is raw, like the recordings found on "4-Track Demos." It is the best raw recording of Polly's that I have ever heard. "The Bay" is also incredible. I wish that someday Island Records will re-release this album. It's incredible.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Won't Want Her Out Of Your Head... April 18, 2005
Format:Audio CD
After delivering what many would consider to be the most prominent album of her career, PJ Harvey fled from the spotlight and lived for three and a half years in virtual isolation on her parents' farm in Yeovil. The album she produced when she resurfaced lacked the bluesy punk-riffs and tongue-in-cheek lyrics of her earlier albums, utilizing instead experimental fuzzy guitars and synthesizers. It was brief, complex, evasive, and rife with subtly rendered emotional distress. It was also, in my opinion as well as (I have read) Ms. Polly Jean's, her most finely-crafted album ever.

1. Angelene-A slow, folksy ballad that seems to be about a wayward woman who gives herself over to many men while secretly pining for an overseas lover. It features Harvey singing plainly and simply in a husky voice. Some of the lyrics are thought to pay tribute to a J.D. Salinger short story entitled "Pretty mouth and green my eyes", which is directly quoted at one point in the song.

2. The Sky Lit Up-This song is very short. It seems to be about someone enjoying a happy night on the town and yet at the same time, there seems to be something awry about it. It ends with PJ Harvey wailing, "the sky lit up" in a high-pitched tone.

3. The Wind-A very quiet song with verses told in hushed whispers and a chorus that is delivered in a haunting tone; very ominous.

4. My Beautiful Leah-Another short one. This song has these weird fuzzy guitars playing in the background which, in conjunction with Harvey's drone, give it a numbing atmosphere so that one can almost envision her stumbling around on a dark night trying to find the girl she is looking for.

5. A Perfect Day, Elise-An incredible song.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Noises Like The Whales December 29, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I was first introduced to PJ Harvey by my true love when we first met. He managed to leave this CD at my apartment one day... it was a great way of seducing me; conjuring up all sorts of desire and passion.
That was 2 years ago. I have since bought all of her albums, yet this one never leaves my CD player to this day.
I find the emotion and style of this album quite impossible to put into words. It is truly a mood unto itself. It trancends any definition of what I call music, and becomes more of an inner experience, touching every aspect of instinct and primal identity.
As an artist and a female, I am constantly absorbing the atmosphere around me, searching for inspiration and expression. This album has been an invaluable source for creating. Put this CD on repeat and paint and paint. Also, when trying to connect with people as subjects for photography, this album has been a great way of allowing them to get intouch with the emotion of a possible darker, sensuous, deeper side of themselves than they had known that truly comes across in photographs.
This album is much more than music. There are so many subtlties and undercurrents running through this album and the woman who created it, that it becomes quite an experience everytime you hear it.
I cannot imagine anyone who is a passionate individual not choking on their own pleasure on having found this album.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A few of Desire's faces August 8, 2005
Format:Audio CD
PJ Harvey is a gifted songwriter and a great performer. She also tends to write about things you don't want to hear about and shout them for everyone to hear, much like Patti Smith and Tori Amos. This record is not different. Desire can be beautiful and destructive. Here, Ms. Harvey concentrates on the destructive face but she also includes so much beauty in this album, that its eerie effect is coated with sugar.

Monologues of love, dusty lust, hidden passion, sexual madness, and personal resilience are a few of the themes she handles here, each one in a seperate short story with its own players.

The songwriter PJ Harvey takes a while to get used to because of her ventures into hard sonic and lyrical terrain, but when a listener gives this more than one or two tries, he/she will comprehend the artist's strong vision.

The performer Harvey is, however, going to leave audiences stupefied. She plays every character of each short story of this with fire, dedication and chameleon skills. You can hear the fragile prostitute of "Angelene", and you can hear the creeping madness in every word of "Perfect Day, Elise". The erotic promise of "No Girl so Sweet" manages to be sensual and dirty without becoming crude.

Thousands of albums about desire have been released. What makes this difference is the respect to the listener and PJ Harvey's skill and obvious amount of work
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best thing i ever heard.
I knew about PJ Harvey a long time ago. Never bought a CD , but i found couple of them in a store for less than a dollar each.
This album ''Is This Desire ? Read more
Published 8 months ago by Zen
4.0 out of 5 stars Is This Desire Enough?
All of PJ Harvey's favorite subjects come up again on Is This Desire?: death, sex, obssession, and tragic women. And it works beautifully. Read more
Published on July 25, 2010 by Megan Ross
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting Work - Buy it with the Bonus Disc
In my top ten albums of all time, this disc is beautiful, haunting, and disconcerting all at once. The bonus disc (Elise single and presumably four b-sides) is also among PJs best... Read more
Published on March 24, 2009 by A. James
4.0 out of 5 stars Is This Desire?
Is This Desire? being her 1998 release and her 5th studio album is an album that I like instantly. This is a very experimental album that sounds like a mix between rock,... Read more
Published on January 17, 2009 by Bjorn Viberg
3.0 out of 5 stars Some strong entries but overall suprisingly inconsistent
I can't say this is one my favorite PJ discs, but seriously, can she do poor work? Something with the overused beats and hints of melodic struggling make half of ITD sound a little... Read more
Published on August 22, 2008 by IRate
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Her Very Best
Although her biggest commercial breakthrough is still 1995's dramatic "To Bring You My Love", and her magnum opus is still 2000's lush, reveltory "Stories from the City, Stories... Read more
Published on February 3, 2008 by Abbey Graves
4.0 out of 5 stars Good album - one of the big 3.
In a recent interview, Polly Jean Harvey said that there were 3 albums she'd done that she was truly satisfied with at the time she'd made them. Read more
Published on January 27, 2008 by Xtian Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars even at this late date
it seems silly so many years later to review a CD,but i find a moment in life happening where this one is stuck in the player. Read more
Published on January 10, 2008 by Mr.Mew
5.0 out of 5 stars All time favorite CD
Ok, just to quickly add, this is my all time favorite CD. From the day it came out back in 98, and almost 10 years later, I still listen to the CD and get blown away the same way... Read more
Published on October 7, 2007 by G. Lugo
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sky, My Friend
It is hard to claim for a PJ Harvey album as her best, because every album of hers is such a classic! Read more
Published on February 13, 2007 by Creature of the Night
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