PJ Harvey: To Bring You My Love/To Bring You My Love Demos (Universal/Island) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, November 23rd, 2020  

PJ Harvey

To Bring You My Love/To Bring You My Love Demos

Universal/Island

Oct 29, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Ever since it came out in the spring of 1995, To Bring You My Love has been a landmark. It is not only arguably the greatest record of PJ Harvey’s now three decade career, but also one of the best records of the ’90s. With its mix of sleek noir, moody lounge, industrial, electronica, and aggressive blues rock, there’s still nothing else quite like it. It also produced her most well-known song (“Down by the Water”), aided by an MTV video in heavy rotation, and became a commercial success as well, selling almost 400,000 copies in the U.S. as of 2005. With all that said, it’s been out of print on vinyl for a long time and so this reissue (which is part of a larger series where all of Harvey’s albums are getting reissued along with an accompanying demos album) is welcome. The sound is excellent, matching the well-regarded original pressing and earlier reissues.

The real attraction, though, for older fans is the demos set, with many of these versions coming close to their more familiar finished/released counterparts. However, the rawness is a treat for fans to hear what this album might’ve sounded like if she had continued in the raw, guitar-based style of Dry, Rid of Me, and 4-Track Demos. Longtime listeners will also notice the differences, though. It’s still a bit shocking to hear the primitive drum machine on the Captain Beefheart referencing “Meet Za Monsta” or her raw, impassioned vocal on “C’mon Billy” next to what sounds like handclaps between each guitar strum. Still, it’s clearly for fans only, particularly of this album and Harvey’s earlier, rawer work with her eponymous band, who broke up before she started working on this record. The uninitiated should start with the finished album. (www.pjharvey.net)

Author rating: 9/10

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