Daily Express, UK - Album Review - October 20th, 2000
PJ Harvey: Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea
Can you talk about a PJ Harvey album and use words like 'uplifting' or phrases like 'at peace'? It's a dangerous game to play, but when on the penultimate track she flatly intones: "I have pulled myself clear", you kind of believe her. Mind you, that's track 11 and there have been one or two cold-souled gutters to negotiate along the way. It's curious that the track is called Horses In My Dreams because so much of Stories...recalls Patti Smith's raw debut. That stark, desiccated sound, taut and full of rock rollin' rhythms. The elemental, undomesticated side of Harvey is never far from the surface, but when she does take her foot off the pedal, the effect is startling, and gives a song like Beautiful Feeling a rare power and depth. Not as uncomfortable as some of her earlier work, but still on a different emotional edge to her contemporaries, Stories...is Harvey's best album to date. Age will only make it better.
4/5 stars, Uncommonly good