Intoxicated Man is the first of Mick Harvey's tributes to French singer/songwriter Serge Gainsbourg. Released at a time when the icon was largely unknown outside his home country, the album offers 16 English translations.
Retreating from the limelight after the tour for her acclaimed third album, To Bring You My Love, PJ Harvey became something of a recluse, appearing only on her colleague John Parish's Dance Hall at Louse Point, as well as a Nick Cave record, over the course of the next two and a half years. During her self-imposed exile, Harvey returned to her small hometown of Yeovil and isolated herself from most pop trends, eventually writing the material that would come to comprise her fourth album, Is This Desire?…
Is This Desire? is cerebral where her other albums were visceral, both lyrically and musically.
Her most accessible album, even if the album lacks the indelible force of its predecessors.
In its own way, Let England Shake may be even more singular and unsettling than White Chalk was, and its complexities make it one of Harvey’s most cleverly crafted works.
She may not break new ground with Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, but Polly Jean Harvey proves one thing: she sure knows how to tend to her plot. Hard-rocking, guitar-driven numbers, mesmerizing vocal wordplay, and plenty of noisy atmospherics prove that Harvey is still the queen of rock-noir.