Unlike the other PJ Harvey albums from the EPFL that I've reviewed here, I'd never heard Uh Huh Her until I checked it out with my handy-dandy library card. Just like the other PJ Harvey albums from the EPFL, Uh Huh Her is pretty awesome.
Apparently, this is Harvey's attempt to do everything on her own. The credits say she wrote, performed, and produced everything on the album (except for the drums and some backup vocals). For the most part, she did a really good job. The music is aggressive, energetic, and raw, yet it still maintains the nuanced layers of sound that Harvey creates so well. There's really only one stinker: "Who the Fuck?" is a musical throwback to PJ Harvey's debut, which would be fine if the lyrics didn't sound as if they were written by a 13-year-old boy with raging hormones and a limited vocabulary. Otherwise, the songs fit together in a cohesive way that makes this an album rather than merely a collection of songs.
Normally I don't like packages that are centered around photos, but Harvey pulled it off. The liner notes contain a bunch of snapshots that seem to mirror her life as both an artist and a person. There are little notes about the recordings taped over the pictures, and though they're not easy to read, they give insight into her mindset as she made this record. I wish there were lyrics, but looking at the liner notes, I completely understand why they weren't included.
Listen if you like: Cat Power, Patti Smith, Nick Cave. Really, though, listen if you like the darkest and rawest moments of PJ Harvey's catalog.
If it were food, it'd be: Alcohol. You know it'll make you feel like crap, but you just can't resist... especially when you're already feeling a little down.
(Note: When I checked this out, someone who checked the disc out before me left a copy of Steely Dan Aja in the case beneath Uh Huh Her. I think Steely Dan is one of the very worst bands in the history of rock, right up there with New Edition and Sheryl Crow. I left the CD in the case, so whoever checks this one out next gets a free Steely Dan CD. Lucky you.)