Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea is the fifth studio album by English alternative rock musician PJ Harvey, released on 24 October 2000 by Island Records. Recorded during March to April 2000, it contains themes of love that are tied into Harvey's affection for New York City.The album 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 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 Platinum in the UK and Australia. It is generally regarded as one of her best works.Wikipedia
PJ Harvey is yet another in a too-long list of outstanding musical artists who I somehow just simply missed altogether when they were definitely available to me as a listener and concert-goer. I remember hearing her name a lot, and she was spoken very very highly of by a number of people whose musical tastes were similar to mine. Anyway, even though I can't quite explain how I didn't listen to her 21 years ago when this album was released, I can say after having listened to it that I think it's fantastic work. Compelling, intriguing, very interesting chord progressions and rhythms, and I just dig the overall vibe. Dark without being too self-referential or too harsh. Really solid album.
Enjoyed this one. PJ’s seemingly odd and occultist personality really comes through in her own perception of love.
In which critic’s darling Polly Jean evokes rather than describes new love darkened by a generalised dread that, if you want to take things too far, kind of adumbrates 9/11 the following year. Twenty years on, it’s a useful reminder of two truths. One, love always wins the day. Two, the West had been demonstrating its skills in geopolitical goat-fuckery for decades, and 9/11 wasn’t the bolt from the blue many like to pretend. Anyway, the album. Again and again, Harvey throws a rope around her unwieldy themes: “I’m immortal when I’m with you, but I want a pistol in my hand”; “Does it have to be a world full of dread? I want to chase you round the table and touch your head”; “I can’t believe the axis turns on suffering when you taste so good”; “This world all gone to war. All I need is you tonight.”; “I draw a line from your heart to mine. A line to keep us safe.” Her themes are distilled to bold and beautiful physical gestures, but they wouldn’t carry half as much heft without the sonics that are the album’s greatest achievement. It’s a sound you feel could sweep across an ocean. That’s no coincidence, as there are more than a few references here to Polly’s separation from her man. If I’m reading it right, he’s in London and she’s in New York (omg, omg, omg: 9/11). The surprisingly sparse arrangements match the economy of her writing, averaging (yep, I’ve done the sum) 4.3 instruments per track. Only the blissful ‘We Float’ gets a big-finish 12! Shit, Polly, quit flexin’. As always, it’s not about how much is there, it’s about what it does. And the standard guitar-bass-drums—sprinkled with harmonium, harpsichord, tambourine, maracas, electric piano, E. bow, bells, and djembe—are deeper than a full orchestra because you can feel the spaces between them. At the dawn of a century (oh god, what am I doing?) defined for many by the alienating effects of globalisation, evoking ’the spaces between’ is pretty damn clairvoyant. And so I thank Polly for reminding me of the lines you can draw across those spaces, from one heart to another. [Vomits]
An exquisite album from an extraordinary artist at the top of her game, PJ Harvey’s song writing and playing hits another level. Beautiful, melodic love songs that rock hard.
Her most accessible album, and quite possibly her masterpiece (it's either this or Rid Of Me). It's as close as mainstream America finally got to embracing Generation X's Joni Mitchell. It might be due to the fact that Polly Jean sounds happy and playful, at least compared to her earlier work. Polly Jean Harvey deserves to have as many albums on this list as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. And this one's my favorite.
This is the first artist that I've heard of - This is a solid album and PJ Harvey gets high marks for being influential, but it's not quite a 5 star album for me. Some obvious influences are Patti Smith on "Good Fortune" and Neil Young's Cinnamon Girl on the opening of "This is Love". There's also a great collaboration with Thom Yorke of Radiohead.
Substantive and coherent. Thoughtful and driving. No real huge hits but a certain timelessness -- professionally executed at a very high level. Holds up and will continue to. Thom Yorke's guest appearance tells you all you need to know about the overall quality and band's position at the time.
Sparse, very 2000s. I like Thom Yorke's appearance. I also like this record a ton more than "Let England Shake". A little bit more rock foward, with some slow spots here and there. Favorite tracks: "Big Exit", "One Line", "The Whores Hustle and the Hustlers Whore"
It starts off innocently, a couple of fairly standard rocky numbers, which had me worrying about lack of diversity. Then we hit the numbers she did with Thom Yorke, which sandwich the genius of "The Whores Hustle..." Now we start hearing the Nick Cave influence. There is light, shade, darkness. She uses that voice to stab you in the heart. When it's over, you feel bereft. Thank God for replay. I knew she was good, but this is the best album I've heard in years.
Strong female vocals with driving guitars and a punk sensibility. I really like this! Favorite Tracks: Big Exit, A Place Called Home, One Line, Beautiful Feeling, The Whores Hustle and the Hustlers Whore, We Float. Least Favorite Tracks: Horses In My Dreams
Great storytelling sick guitar. Loved the little piano/organ situation on a track I can't remember the name of and can always get around a Thom Yorke feature. Kamikaze is my highlight.
Really enjoyed this. More rocky and less experimental than I expected. Such a powerful voice. A few real banging tracks. Liked the Thom Yorke cameos
Unreal, very Patti smith
Pulsating alternative rock. Even without Thom Yorke's cameos there are shades of Radiohead there. PJ Harvey certainly does concept albums well, these songs are indicative of New York
Альбом, уже ставший классикой и обязательным для прослушивания любому любителю рока. Для себя отмечу песни с Томом Йорком из Radiohead. 7 баллов из 10.
You know, I didn't hate this album. I didn't love it either. It was just ... okay. I enjoyed listening to it in the background as I got stuff done. There aren't really any standout tracks and, on a whole, the album felt like a bit of a jumbled mess. Maybe it's my lack of connection to the material. The wiki says that this was a bit of a love letter to New York. That city doesn't need a love letter. It needs a tetanus shot and a month in rehab. But it wasn't bad by any stretch of the imagination. It really wasn't. Perfectly adequate. Extremely middling.
This album sounds so 90s to me. At least it did when it started. As it got closer to the end I was like oh shit, this is where Patti Smith's influence had taken us in the early 2000's. As I was thinking how much she sounded like Patti on the song "This is Love," the very next track was called, "HORSES in My Dreams." Coincidence?! Probably, but damn she was serving my Patti on a few of those songs. Vocally at least. I didn't feel the feverish raw energy that Patti brought me and the songs kind of sounded like the epitome of late 90s/early 2000s alternative. I'm sure at the time it was a head turning sound, plus we were visited by everyones favorite alien, Thom Yorke, on "This Mess We're In," so I'm not going to come down on it too hard.
As much as I try to like PJ Harvey, I always end up getting annoyed with her music.
The undisputed queen of indie rock pulls out her masterpiece!
AMAZING album that I was unaware was a thing. Added it to my list of go-to albums and could listen to this on repeat with no issues.
I love this album!
PJ showing the world she can climb the charts keeping her alternative integrity perfectly untouched. Monumental.
Polly Jean es una de esas artistas en mi vida que no están presentes todo todo el tiempo, pero que me encantan. Tiene una fuerza creativa muy chida, "Beautiful Feeling" fue por mucho tiempo mi favorita de este disco, aunque "This Is Love" y "This Mess We're In" también tenían lo suyo. Reescucharla con atención hizo que ahora me gusten mucho "A Place Called Home" y "Kamikaze" (con todo lo rockera que suena está última). La voz de PJ me encanta, tanto cuando se aloca como cuando canta tranquila, en calma. El disco abre enérgico y tiene un cierre más moderado. La quiero mucho. No tengo skips en este disco.10/10
Aguante PJ Harvey! Un disco variado, sad, pesado, pegajoso, con ritmo, con depre, con melancolia. Tracks favoritos: this is love y kamikaze. Mood: viendo la lluvia escurrir por la ventana de un camión
La primera parte de la carrera de PJ fue forjada bajo la cruz del blues. Acá yo, meco que soy, noto una onda más jingle jangle en la guitarra, mucho más melódica (esa línea de los Byrds que atraviesa los 80 y regala cumbres con R.E.M.) y arpegiada. Big Exit es una gran entrada (pun intended) para este disco. Good Fortune capitaliza ese sonido que intuyo. Brillante y muy emocionante, una de sus mejores canciones. A Place Called Home me remite a muchas cosas, todas muy cinematográficas, de esas de heroísmo pasional y romántico, también me retumba otra vez las formas vocales de Michael Stipe y en cuanto a sonido, las ondas pop de electrónica orgánica del Adore de los Smashing. Canta hermoso aquí. Puedo seguir con cada canción pero la neta mejor escúchenlo completo y díganle que lo haga a la persona que más confianza le tengan. Pd. La de The Whores Hustle.... le hubiera encantado a Kurt Cobain.
I’m ashamed I hadn’t heard this earlier. What a marvelous album.
My intro to Polly Jean. Still in my top 5 albums.
5/5, this album was fantastic, I was torn between 4/5 for a while but the last couple tracks swayed me. The album does it all and does it well, most tracks felt unique and well produced, the antepenultimate taking you high, followed by the horses taking you low was cool, but coupled with the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ resolution to end the album, truly impressed me. This is a prime example of the necessity of this website
This Mess We're In - awesome Kamikaze - rock & roll The Wicked Tounge - Hidden track but on another spotify session album good stuff
Great album, great songwriter. She’s influential as hell, there’s not much more I can say about her
I love PJ Harvey, and I love this album. One of her best. 5 stars.
PJ Harvey was not fucking around when she put this album together. A lot of fantastic songs. Excellent stuff! Fave track - the duet with Thom Yorke was great an all, but I have to go with "Good Fortune" overall, but like three quarters of the other tracks come in a close second place!
Beste plaat van PJ. Zo vaak gedraaid al en blijft elke keer prachtig.
Two PJ records in one week! I dithered over giving a 5 star rating to Rid Of Me, because I love it but it’s simply not as flawless as this. So I’m essentially saying this would get a 5 plus, if such a thing existed. Every song is great; the beautiful softer moments just as much as the powerful rock tracks. The opening bars make me feel as excited now as they did when I first heard it age 13. Still looking for a karaoke place where I can belt out Good Fortune.
Wow this is fantastic. I knew a few of the songs already but it’s really incredible as a whole. The standouts for me are the songs with Thom.
I’ve heard of PJ Harvey but really had no clue what sort of music it was. As I started to listen I got a Pretenders vibe. The first half of the album I was liking well enough, but nothing was grabbing me or making me want to hit that “Add to Library” button. Wasn’t sure this was standing out amidst several weeks of standout albums… When “The Mess We’re In” came on I stopped what I was doing and just listened. I’m a big fan of Thom Yorke and recognized him instantly and really, really loved the song. Now the album has my full attention. “You Said Something” took me back to New York. “Kamikaze” with the vocal delivery and drums. “Horses in my Dreams” with its shambling, dreamy feel. And “We Float” with it’s great, spare verses soaring chorus ended things on a high note. On the second listen I realized how great this album is. Standouts this time included “A Place Called Home,” “One Line” and “The Whores Hustle and the Hustlers Whore” - really fantastic. How had I glossed over these the first time? I guess I needed that Thom Yorke kick in the ass to get me to pay attention. The music is as cool as the album cover. Really great album.
Didn't know much of PJ Harvey aside from 50ft Queenie, which is a great punk song but I didn't know how I'd feel about a whole album. Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea was a wonderful surprise. This is solid alternative rock with a grown-up point of view. During my first listen, I favorited half the tracks. During the second, I favorited the rest. I love this.
Probably some of PJ's best work, serious themes and some cracking tunes. Love "Big Exit", "One Life" and "Beautiful Feeling". Love it and rightfully on this list.
Had never heard of PJ Harvey, 5/5 rating though!
What a great inside look to the women’s rock scene of the late 90s and early 2000s. I really enjoyed this one.
I really enjoyed this one and will be revisiting it. I enjoyed every single song. I think due to my age, I missed out on a lot of things, and I'm so happy to have discovered this one.
Need to listen to this a lot more
Absolutely blown away by how good this is, for years I’d been aware of PJ Harvey but I’d never thought to listen to any of her music, despite knowing that several bands I like cited her as an influence. Glad this one has been added to my library. A solid 5/5.
One of my favourite albums from 00’s
What an album! Right from the opening track, PJ Harvey hits off firing on all 12 cylinders. Between this album and To Bring You My Love, I argue Harvey brings forth a damn excellent case for best female vocal performance ever in terms of the emotions it triggers in me (which, in my mind, implies best vocal performance ever, period). The fact this performance is closely tied to recording technique does not hinder, but rather further supports to prowess of this multi talented musician.
Brilliant, one of my favourite albums ever, and Good Fortune one of my favourite songs ever. Noting fantastic production by Mick Harvey (ex Bad Seeds).
Awesome album! PJ is a badass singer/songwriter.
Pretty much as close to perfection as alternative rock gets.
An excellent bridge between the ‘90s and ‘00s alternative. Harvey’s voice is so eloquent but really quite excellent. Strong songwriting and storytelling makes this a great surprise!
I love everything about this album and have since I first heard it.
Good Fortune is one of the top rock songs of the decade You Said Something is my favourite song in the history of music This is my 10th relisten and I love Polly Jean Harvey This Mess We're In was gutwrenching but I am not a fan of the other duet
Every track is gold.
That crooked mouth Speaks to me
The album certifies hot stormy lyrics with raw guitar. Have always loved a few of these tracks
Loved this so much, no clue how I missed this until now. This is the first album that I’ve added to my library on Spotify, I adore the sound. Makes me oddly nostalgic.
I'm sad it took me so long to check this album out. Perfect vibes.
My favourite PJ Harvey album
I love the energy on this album. This Mess We're In, one of my favourite tracks of all time but then it does have Thom Yorke on it.
i stan PJ Harvey
the Thom Yorke bits seemed very un-Thom Yorke and that made it a bit strange
Fantastic, can't believe I've not listened before!
Widescreen yet personal. One of PJH's most compelling and consistent albums.
This is such a good album! I’ve always been curious about her music, but never gotten into it. And now I want to listen to other albums of hers.
Fuck it. I love it.
This is Love!
My favorite PJ Harvey album. I heard a lot of PJH in Patti Smith's Horses when it came up in the generator earlier this week.
p865. 2000. 5 stars New millennium Chrissie Hynde. Great tunes, great songs, great attitude, great image. What's not to like?
This is really cool!!
This is one of my favorite albums. It was so prescient when it came out - it became one of those iconic albums which perfectly aligned with the zeitgeist. The songwriting is cohesive and so beautiful. The Thom Yorke tracks kill me every time. I know it isn't everyone's favorite PJ album but it's definitely my personal favorite.
"Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea" is the fifth studio album from English alternative rock musician and singer PJ Harvey. The album has themes of love and connections to New York City where she had been living for nine months. She purposedly made it more direct, more melodic and less darker than her previous albums. I'll agree with that; the first three songs are very melody driven. She does still have an harder edge going in a lot of these songs which I've always liked about her music. It did win the 2001 Mercury Prize for the best album released in the UK by a British artist. "Big Exit" starts the album in a straight-forward rockin' way. Nice guitar melody. PJ's vocals come in hard and strong. A song maybe misinterpreted as a suicide song; I think it's more about a reaction to being in an unfamiliar place. The first single "Good Fortune" has another strong melodic start. The urgency in PJ's voice. Simply, about falling in love. Great song. The second single "A Place Called Home" uses an acoustic guitar giving it kind of a groove. Another love song...one day there will be a place for us. Thom Yorke takes over as lead singer on "This Mess We're In." PJ in the background. Slower, more of a ballad. This song has grown on me a bit. They want each other but are obligated to someone else. A similar theme is in "You Said Something." Sort of an off-key guitar melody. The music and vocals build the emotion. Imagery to NYC and they want to be with each other but something is holding them back. Probably my favorite song on the album. PJ goes more punk and Patti Smith in the third and final single "This Is Love." Hard repetition in the music and vocals. An ominous start the to the album closer "We Float" with the bass, organ, drums and PJ's vocals. Starting out desperate and then optimism kicks in with uplifting vocals repeating "We Float." A great album ender. This album sounded great today. Really solid from start to finish. I'm a huge fan of early PJ Harvey. Yes, this album is more melodic and less dark but still has the edge of those albums. Highly recommended.
One of my all time favorite albums. Hypnotic indie rock album full of outstanding songs. This song was formative, and I kick myself for not ever trying to see her live back then. Standout track: "You Said Something" is one of the greatest love songs ever written.
Perhaps my #3 PJ, after To bring you my love and Is this desire. Excellent songs, raw and accessible at the same time.
Last year Pitchfork 'rescored' this album from 5.4 to 8.4. Better late than never, I suppose. Excellent album throughout.
5/5 this album kicks ass! PJ Harvey deserves much more recognition, especially when she has albums like Is this Desire?, Cities, and Let England Shake. Favorite tracks: Big Exit, Good Fortune, A Place Called Home, One Line, This Mess We’re In, Kamikaze, This is Love, We Float
Even better than I remember it.
I would think PJ purists wouldn't have liked this album, which is more mainstream and less raw than her earlier efforts. But what it lacks in edginess it makes up for in song writing. The 1st song (which is pretty raw actually) I couldn’t get enough of the 1st time I heard it and it keeps me bouncing off the walls, much like “Dress” from her first album. The 2nd song is a definite hit, with full-on Patti Smith channeling. Of the remainder, I lean toward the rockier numbers like Whores Hustle and This is Love, not so much Radiohead influenced ballads, although the duet with Tom York is right up there with the best Radiohead songs. I've been listening to a ton of PJ since 1001 and this might not he my favourite album of hers, but I think it's the best that we have been sent.
This era was peak PJ. On her previous albums she would toggle between distortion infused rockers and ballads that were barely there. On this album she has shined up the ballads a bit which elevates those ballads.
One of the best artists composing and performing from the UK in the last 30 years. This is a stand out album, up their with her best, and hence one of the greatest albums
Love PJ Harvey and this is one of her best records, so a clear 5. Good Fortune is best song, just.
Heart vibez. Enjoyable album
Nice, but not really my thing.
Great alt-rock album which fits perfectly with the fall weather. Thom Yorke made some great contributions aswell
Great stuff - everything I hear from PJ Harvey I love.
I heard good things about her and I really enjoyed this album. It had some great songs and was really consistent. Thom Yorke feature was also amazing. 8.8/10
Great - had not really listened to this before, but really enjoyed it.
Some songs a bit forgettable but others are excellent
Gran disco. Mi favorita es This Mess We're In aún con la voz de Yorke. 4.5 que bajan a 4 porque la mitad es un poquito monótona pero igual es muy disfrutable.
Great one, never heard it in full until now
Actually really liked this one. An album that was honestly a little heavier than I expected and would go back and forth from that to more of that singer songwriter vibe. Good stuff. Favorite Tracks: “Big Exit,” “Beautiful Feeling,” and “The Whores Hustle and the Hustlers Whore