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Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea

226 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 31, 2000
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Frequently Bought Together

Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea + To Bring You My Love [Vinyl] + Rid Of Me
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea--the sixth album from the most incendiary female British performer to emerge in the 1990s--is as powerful a record as any Polly Jean Harvey has made. Masterfully striking a balance between her blues-folk roots, avant-leanings, and soaring pop sensibility, it serves as a summary of Harvey's prior achievements. The abrasive, jagged guitars hark back to her fiery 1992 debut album, Dry, on the ballistic yet anthemic opener, "Big Exit," while the dreamy, opulent closer, "We Float," demonstrates her maturity as a songwriter. The clamor and emotional rush of a heady relationship--particularly on her duet with Thom Yorke, "This Mess We're In"--gives the album a ferocious clarity. The production skills of Mick Harvey (Nick Cave's Bad Seeds) lends depth and assurance. And, though PJ quotes from many influences--the Who, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, and even West Side Story--her indomitable presence shines throughout. Stories from the City is the work of a singular talent at the peak of her powers. --Gavin Martin


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

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

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Big Exit 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Good Fortune 3:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. A Place Called Home 3:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. One Line 3:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Beautiful Feeling 4:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. The Whores Hustle And The Hustlers Whore 4:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. This Mess We're In 3:57$1.29  Buy MP3 
  8. You Said Something 3:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Kamikaze 2:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. This Is Love 3:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Horses In My Dreams 5:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. We Float 6:09$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 31, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Island
  • ASIN: B00004YW6I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (226 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,320 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Gianmarco Manzione on October 31, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Finally, we are blessed with someone talented enough to sum up the human experience with one shockingly universal cry, "I can't believe life's so complex/when I just want to sit here and watch you undress." Anyone who is not brought to the hight of joy by the comic truth of that statement is either gravely ill or just needs to get out more.
The tone of that remark pervades this album, the deliciously hyper follow-up to 1998's solemn "Is This Desire." Patti Smith must have licked her chops the first time she gave this record a listen, as she undoubtedly has by now. The punk rock freakout of an opener, "Big Exit" is as compelling as anything on her debut, Dry, or the brilliant To Bring You My Love of 1995. Honestly, after the dour collection PJ Harvey brought to us in 1998, I didn't think she still had it in her.
But, man, does she ever! It doesn't stop there, track after track is electrified with frenzied vocals and fizzing guitar work, courtesy of Mick Harvey of the Bad Seeds. From "Good Fortune" to the explosion of a riff opening "Beautiful Feeling" to the aforementioned "This is Love," it becomes violently obvious that PJ Harvey has every intention of sticking around for a long time to come.
But while the album rocks as a whole, the ballads, such as the oddly appealing acoustic song, "Horses in my Dreams," and "One Line" designate PJ Harvey as one of the most talented songwriters of her generation, and I do not pay her that compliment lightly.
To call this album a must buy is like saying Bob Dylan is a decent songwriter. Enough said.
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42 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Ferguson-Maltzman on April 13, 2005
Format: Audio CD
PJ Harvey's fifth album "Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea" is the singer/songwriter's finest album and should please fans of her older albums and new fans alike. "Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea" is somewhat slicker, less rough-around-the-edges than her other albums. I would recommend this album to start off with, as it is probably her most assessable work.

I personally feel that this album has her best collection of songs. From the opening rocker "Big Exit" to the beautiful "We Float," every song is a winner. There isn't any filler to be found. Each song is well written and memorable. It's a good mix of fast paced rockers, mid-tempo songs, and slower ones. The listener never gets bored. This CD deals with themes of love, relationships, etc, but never gets tedious or trite. Everything on this album is sincere and straight from the heart.

The album opens up strong with "Big Exit" an excellent rocker with a good, infectious hook. "Good Fortune" keeps up the momentum. "A Place Called Home" is a beautiful, somewhat morose, slower number whose enchanting background vocals stay with the listener long after the song has ended. The album slows down a bit for the next few songs. The mid-tempo "One Line" leads in perfectly to the dark, atmospheric "Beautiful Feeling." The pace is picked up with "The Whores Hustle, and the Hustlers Whore." "The Mess We're In" features a duet with Thom Yorke. Their overlapping vocals work nicely together. "You Said Something" is another softer number in the vein of "A Place Called Home," only slightly more upbeat. The pace picks up considerably with the excellent rockers "Kamikaze" and "This is Love.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Josh on October 31, 2000
Format: Audio CD
PJ Harvey returns with yet another brilliant album. Moving away from the electronic/experimental tendencies found on Is This Desire?, this album features a return to a more guitar-based formula that at times recalls her work on Dry and Rid Of Me. The crunchy guitar of "Kamikaze" and "This Is Love" would fit in perfectly on either of those albums.
Several other tracks on the album are lighter songs that feature acoustic guitar and polished pop/rock production with beautiful layering of guitars, synths, pianos, etc. One of these tracks, the wonderful "This Mess We're In", features Radiohead's Thom Yorke on lead vocals dueting with Polly Jean.
From the album-opening rocker "Big Exit" to the album's lovely, somewhat minimalist, finale "We Float", this album shines. While most of PJ's albums since Rid Of Me have moved in a radically different direction from the last, this one retreads old ground to combine old and new. The result is a captivating rock album that ranks among her best.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Anima Rising on January 1, 2006
Format: Audio CD
In 1974, rock legend Joni Mitchell released "Court And Spark," a timeless masterwork of love and life that silenced every critic that doubted her before that point. With enough soul and stamina to be a rock record but at times catchy enough to be pop, the lush execution and ambitious drive of the record was undeniable. That's how I've always seen PJ Harvey's "Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea."

This really is an amazing album. The theme is executed flawlessly and the instruments are effortlessly perfect. The tones vary greatly, from the rock and roll panic of "Kamikaze" to the dreary and subdued "Horses In My Dreams." There is something for everyone. Some say this is her best album, and that is arguable I guess, but it certainly is the album that showed she no longer had anything to prove. Brilliant.
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