Monday, January 28, 2008

PJ Harvey - Dry (acoustic)

As the first installment to the world of Polly Jean Harvey, DRY is a cautionary dip of the toe to test the temperature. DRY serves as an introduction to Harvey's fierce guitar--which at times recalls the front porches of the Delta--and highly visual lyrical angle that picks at the scabs of female iconography. And though it is the most modest of her initial three releases production-wise, Harvey's sheer talent makes DRY's mythical undercurrent hard to escape.

In "Sheela-Na-Gig" the narrator begs her lover for attention, but is answered with taunts of "you exhibitionist." According to Harvey, a Sheela-Na-Gig is a symbol of a woman ripping her reproductive organs out of her body...but laughing about it. On that song, and on the rest of the album, Harvey grabs on, and won't give up juxtaposing the nursery rhyme singsong of "gonna wash that man right out of my hair" with the contemptuous refrain, "put money in your idol hole." As the two sides duel it out--and the eerie classical overtones of Harvey's violin, and the aggressive guitar drenched in blues and rock textures mesh--DRY makes it clear that Harvey is a force to be reckoned with.

This was a demo (acoustic) version of the main album released in 1992 and apparently very rare, and I don't believe it has ever been released again.

PJ Harvey – Dry

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