Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea

Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
Studio album by PJ Harvey
Released 23 October 2000
Recorded March–April 2000
Genre Indie rock, alternative rock, dream pop
Length 47:25
Label Island
Producer Rob Ellis, Mick Harvey, PJ Harvey
PJ Harvey chronology
Is This Desire?
(1998)
Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
(2000)
Uh Huh Her
(2004)
Singles from Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
  1. "Good Fortune"
    Released: 13 November 2000
  2. "A Place Called Home"
    Released: 26 February 2001
  3. "This Is Love"
    Released: 8 October 2001
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (88/100)[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau (A+)[3]
Entertainment Weekly (A-)[4]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars[5]
NME (9/10)[6]
Pitchfork (5.5/10)[7]
PopMatters (favourable)[8]
Rolling Stone 4.5/5 stars[9]
Spin (8/10)[10]
The Village Voice (favourable) [11]

Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea is the fifth studio album by English singer-songwriter PJ Harvey, released 23 October 2000 on Island Records. Recorded during March to April 2000, the album contains themes of love that are tied into Harvey's affection for New York City.[12] It became the second major commercial success of her recording career, following her successful breakthrough To Bring You My Love (1995). Upon its release, the album received general acclaim from most music critics and earned Harvey several accolades, including the 2001 Mercury Prize. It spent 17 weeks on the UK Albums Chart, and was certified Gold.[13][14] It has been cited by several music writers as her best work.[3][1][15]

Contents

Background

Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea was recorded at the Great Linford Manor in Milton Keynes in March–April 2000. The record was co-produced by Head, Rob Ellis and Harvey, and mixed by Victor Van Vugt at the Fallout Shelter. The album featured a duet with Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke on the track "This Mess We're In", as well as backing vocals and keyboards from Yorke on the songs "One Line" and "Beautiful Feeling". "This Mess We're In" was featured in the series finale of Queer as Folk, in the final love scene shared between the two main characters. The song was subsequently included on the series' fifth soundtrack.

Harvey told Q in 2001, "I wanted everything to sound as beautiful as possible. Having experimented with some dreadful sounds on Is This Desire? and To Bring You My Love - where I was really looking for dark, unsettling, nauseous-making sounds - Stories From The City... was the reaction. I thought, No, I want absolute beauty. I want this album to sing and fly and be full of reverb and lush layers of melody. I want it to be my beautiful, sumptuous, lovely piece of work." She did, however, concede jokingly that it was only "pop according to PJ Harvey, which is probably as un-pop as you can get according to most people's standards."

Reception

Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea sold slightly over one million copies worldwide. It peaked at a modest #23 in the UK Albums Chart but charted for 17 weeks over a period of about 18 months. The album debuted at number 42 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart.[16] As of 2009, according to Billboard, Stories has sold 299,000 copies in the US.

The album received general acclaim from music critics.[1] Robert Christgau praised it as "the best album of her career" in Rolling Stone.[9] In his consumer guide for The Village Voice, Christgau gave it an A+ rating,[3] indicating "a record of sustained beauty, power, insight, groove, and/or googlefritz that has invited and repaid repeated listenings in the daily life of someone with 500 other CDs to get to."[17] He wrote of the album's musical significance, "If Nirvana and Robert Johnson are rock's essence for you, so's To Bring You My Love. But if you believe the Beatles and George Clinton had more to say in the end, this could be the first PJ album you adore as well as admire."[3] NME hailed it "a magnificent, life-affirming opus" in their 9/10-rated review.[6]

Accolades

The album earned Harvey BRIT Award nominations as Best British Female Artist for two years running, as well as two Grammy Award nominations for Best Rock Album and Best Female Rock Performance for the single "This Is Love". For the album, Harvey was nominated for the 2001 Mercury Prize for the third time (her previous nominations were for Rid of Me and To Bring You My Love). The award ceremony was held on September 11, 2001. Harvey was in Washington, D.C. on that day and witnessed the events at the Pentagon from her hotel room window. She was announced as the winner and accepted her award by phone, saying "It has been a very surreal day. All I can say is thank you very much, I am absolutely stunned."[18] The win made Harvey the first female solo artist to receive the Mercury Prize in the awards history. The album was ranked number eight on Rolling Stone's list of The 50 Essential "Women In Rock" Albums.[19] In 2002, Q magazine named "Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea" the Greatest Album of All-Time by a Female Artist.[20] In 2006, the album was chosen by Time as one of the 100 best albums of all time.[21] In 2009, Pitchfork named the album the 124th Top Album of the 2000s.[22] In 2009, NME also placed the album inside their Top 100 Greatest Albums Of The Decade, at number 6 [23]

Track listing

All lyrics and music by PJ Harvey.

  1. "Big Exit" - 3:51
  2. "Good Fortune" - 3:20
  3. "A Place Called Home" - 3:43
  4. "One Line" - 3:14
  5. "Beautiful Feeling" - 4:00
  6. "The Whores Hustle and the Hustlers Whore" - 4:01
  7. "This Mess We're In" (featuring Thom Yorke) - 3:57
  8. "You Said Something" - 3:19
  9. "Kamikaze" - 2:24
  10. "This Is Love" - 3:48
  11. "Horses in My Dreams" - 5:38
  12. "We Float" - 6:07
  13. "This Wicked Tongue" - 3:42 (UK & Japan bonus track)

Singles and promo videos

  • "Good Fortune"
  • "A Place Called Home"
  • "This Is Love"/"You Said Something" (two versions)
  • "You Said Something"

Personnel

  • PJ Harvey: vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, djembe, maracas, producer, engineer
  • Rob Ellis: drums, piano, synthesizer, keyboards, harpsichord, tambourine, electric piano, background vocals, producer
  • Mick Harvey: organ, bass, drums, percussion, harmonium, keyboards, background vocals, producer
  • Thom Yorke: vocals, keyboards
  • Head: engineer, mixing
  • Victor Van Vugt: mixing
  • Howie Weinberg: mastering
  • Rob Crane: design
  • Maria Mochnacz: design, photography

References

  1. ^ a b c "Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea - PJ Harvey". metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/music/artists/harveypj/storiesfromthecity. Retrieved 29 September 2009. 
  2. ^ Phares, Heather. Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea at Allmusic. Retrieved 24 December 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d Christgau, Robert (November 28, 2000). "Getting Bizzy: Pick Hit: PJ Harvey Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea". The Village Voice. http://www.villagevoice.com/2000-11-28/music/getting-bizzy/2/. Retrieved 21 March 2010.  Relevant portion also posted in "PJ Harvey > Consumer Guide Reviews". robertchristgau.com. http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?name=PJ+Harvey. Retrieved 28 June 2004. 
  4. ^ Browne, David (November 3, 2000). "The Week: PJ Harvey Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea > Music Review". Entertainment Weekly (567): p. 82. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,278322,00.html. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  5. ^ Nichols, Natalie (October 29, 2000). "Harvey Fuses the Raw and the Lush". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2000/oct/29/entertainment/ca-43753. Retrieved 21 March 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Mulvey, John (September 12, 2005). "NME Reviews: Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea". NME. http://www.nme.com/reviews/pj-harvey/3189. Retrieved 21 March 2010. 
  7. ^ Owen, Spencer (October 31, 2000). "Album Reviews: PJ Harvey: Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea". Pitchfork Media. http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/3756-stories-from-the-city-stories-from-the-sea/. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  8. ^ Robinson, Charlotte. Review: Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea. PopMatters. Retrieved on 2010-03-21.
  9. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (November 9, 2000). "Hot Child in the City: PJ Harvey Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea > Album Review". Rolling Stone (853): p. 128. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/stories-from-the-city-stories-from-the-sea-20001026. Retrieved 28 June 2004.  Posted October 26, 2000. Also archived at "PJ Harvey Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea". robertchristgau.com. http://www.robertchristgau.com/xg/cdrev/pjh-rs.php. Retrieved 1 August 2011. "Note: When printed, this was a four stars. As written it was 4.5 stars." 
  10. ^ Clover, Joshua. "Review: Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea". Spin: 215, 218. December 2000.
  11. ^ Weisbard, Eric (October 24, 2000). "A-OK". The Village Voice. http://www.villagevoice.com/2000-10-24/music/a-ok/1. Retrieved 21 March 2010.  (Reviews Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea.)
  12. ^ Cinquemani, Sal. Review: Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea. Slant Magazine. Retrieved on 2010-03-21.
  13. ^ http://www.chartstats.com/release.php?release=40403
  14. ^ http://www.bpi.co.uk/certifiedawards/search.aspx
  15. ^ Hoard, Christian (2004). "PJ Harvey". In Brackett, Nathan with Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. London: Fireside. pp. 368-369. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. http://books.google.com/books?id=lRgtYCC6OUwC&pg=PA368&dq=. Retrieved 21 March 2010.  Portions posted at "PJ Harvey > Album Guide". rollingstone.com. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/pj-harvey/albumguide. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  16. ^ Columnist. Jay-Z Extends Chart 'Dynasty'. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-03-21.
  17. ^ Christgau, Robert (October 15, 2000). "CG 90s: Key to Icons". Robert Christgau. http://www.robertchristgau.com/xg/bk-cg90/grades-90s.php. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  18. ^ BBC News, "PJ Harvey wins Mercury Prize"
  19. ^ Rock On The Net: Rolling Stone: The 50 Essential 'Woman In Rock' Albums
  20. ^ Rocklist.net...Q Magazine Lists
  21. ^ Light, Alan (November 2, 2006). "Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea All-TIME 100 Albums". Time. http://entertainment.time.com/2006/11/02/the-all-time-100-albums/#stories-from-the-city-stories-from-the-sea. Retrieved 5 May 2007. 
  22. ^ Phillips, Amy (September 29, 2009). "The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 124. PJ Harvey Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea". Pitchfork Media. http://pitchfork.com/features/staff-lists/7707-the-top-200-albums-of-the-2000s/3/. Retrieved 29 September 2009. 
  23. ^ THE TOP 100 GREATEST ALBUMS OF THE DECADE NME 2000s

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