NME 29th August 1998
For art, as opposed to commerce, the return of PJ Harvey offers today’s only option. Gypsy hair and earrings, the radical librarian chic of sensible skirt and cardigan slap-bang against the lips on her T-shirt - there’s a whole sartorial metaphor for her oscillation between the sensuous and the puritanical, the wild and the withdrawn. In the rain-clouded dusk, the new songs - the thickened pulse of ‘A Perfect Day Elise’, the voracious ‘No Hope For Joy’- sound like they were pulled from the Bates swamp with Janet Leigh’s car, clogged and matted secrets aired after all this time. It’s as terrifying as ever, as terrifying as ‘Hook’, tightened like a tourniquet, or the closing ‘To Bring You My Love’, a tender measure of suffering. Polly dances regardless. And looks happy.