Search - PJ Harvey :: Is This Desire

Is This Desire
PJ Harvey
Is This Desire
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

Each of Harvey's previous albums has been a distinct affair as she took steps forward in not only forging her sound but also exploring the wealthy veins of rock & roll. So on first listen, Is This Desire? almost disappoint...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: PJ Harvey
Title: Is This Desire
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Island
Original Release Date: 9/29/1998
Release Date: 9/29/1998
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
Styles: Singer-Songwriters, Singer-Songwriters
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 731452456328

Synopsis essential recording
Each of Harvey's previous albums has been a distinct affair as she took steps forward in not only forging her sound but also exploring the wealthy veins of rock & roll. So on first listen, Is This Desire? almost disappoints; it's very close to the same dark, woozy, and bluesy musical territory she staked out on To Bring You My Love. But it's been said that though good stories can be read once, great stories must be read twice, and, like great literature, this album deserves repeated listenings to appreciate its beautiful complexities and subtle shadings. A recommendation: Spend a few nonstop hours with Is This Desire? It will change you. --Tod Nelson

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CD Reviews

Is This Desire?
Bjorn Viberg | European Union | 01/17/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Is This Desire? being her 1998 release and her 5th studio album is an album that I like instantly. This is a very experimental album that sounds like a mix between rock, industrial, and experimental music. The lyrics are very strange to say the least but very deep and meaningfull. The booklet is more or less a travesty with a bunch of pictures seemingly thrown together at random. Her vocals are very special and she has a very personal voice. Songs that standout on this release are "A Perfect Day Elise" and "The Wind". 4/5.
Haunting Work - Buy it with the Bonus Disc
A. James | Little Rock, AR | 03/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In my top ten albums of all time, this disc is beautiful, haunting, and disconcerting all at once. The bonus disc (Elise single and presumably four b-sides) is also among PJs best work - somewhat sparse but still melodic, the tracks make an excellent pairing with the LP. The chilling "Sweeter Than Anything" is worth the price alone."
One of Her Very Best
Abbey Graves | Buffalo Grove, Illinois United States | 02/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Although her biggest commercial breakthrough is still 1995's dramatic "To Bring You My Love", and her magnum opus is still 2000's lush, reveltory "Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea", the somber, electronics heavy "Is This Desire?" marks a major high point for Polly Jean Harvey. With a couple songs excluded, this is probably her quietest album, with heavy usage of atmospheric synths and muted, whispered vocals from Harvey. The journey begins with "Angelene", the albums's first and perhaps finest track. It's a despondant, folky song, with Harvey cooing downbeat lyrics like "Dear God, life ain't kind/people gettin' born and dying" while a gently strummed guitar and organ ring behind her. "The Sky Lit Up" comes next, a rousing, 2-minute burst of feedback and and swelling synths. The album's biggest achievement as far as production goes comes in the form of "The Wind". It's a monstrously creepy song, with a bluesy guitar riff, numerous ghostly wails and shrieks, and Harvey simultaniously whispering and singing the lyrics. "My Beautiful Leah" is another one of the shorter songs, with a slow, death-march like programmed beat and fuzzy, foghorn-like synths. The obsessive, almost Middle Eastern-sounding tale of lost love "A Perfect Day Elise" and the gloomy, bass-heavy "Catherine" come next, followed by the minimal, lo-fi "Electric Light". "The Garden" is one of the album's more accessible moments, with a pretty piano line and an almost funky backbeat. Ironically, it's followed by the least accessible song on the album, the racous, industrial-tinged "Joy". "The River" follows, a langorous, piano-heavy ballad featuring a feedback-drenched guitar and an eerie, New Orleans-style trumpet. The manic "No Girl So Sweet" follows, with Harvey's vocals at their most raw and an almost club-like feel. The album finishes on a dark, yet hopeful note with "Is This Desire?", which tells the strange tale of two inseperable lovers over a ringing guitar line, eerie lo-fi synths, and a heavy snare drum beat. Although newcomers should start with "To Bring You My Love" or "Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea", "Is This Desire?" is essential for any dedicated Polly fan. An added bonus, it's her personal favorite out of any of her own albums!"