PJ Harvey Albums Ranked

Polly Jean Harvey MBE (born 9 October 1969) is an English singer, songwriter, and musician. Primarily known as a vocalist and guitarist, she is also proficient with a wide range of instruments. Harvey began her career in 1988 when she joined the local band Automatic Dlamini as a vocalist, guitarist, and saxophonist. The band’s frontman, John Parish, became her long-term collaborator. In 1991, she formed an eponymous trio called PJ Harvey and subsequently began her career as PJ Harvey. The trio released two studio albums called Dry (1992) and Rid of Me (1993) before disbanding, after which Harvey continued as a solo artist. Since 1995, she has released a further nine studio albums with collaborations from various musicians including Parish, former bandmate Rob Ellis, Mick Harvey, and Eric Drew Feldman, and has also worked extensively with record producer Flood. Here are all of PJ Harvey’s albums ranked.

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10. 4-Track Demos, 1993

Harvey, PJ - 4-Track Demos - Amazon.com Music

“Quite ironic (but then again, quite not) how this one done on her lonesome on 4-track manages to capture her raw, bruised fuck you far more eloquently than the godfather of raw Steve Albini. My PJ favourite. More intimate, human, honest than any other release of hers.”

9. Uh Huh Her, 2004

Encarte: PJ Harvey - Uh Huh Her

“This will probably not go down as one of PJ Harvey’s best albums and some of the very soft tracks actually gave us a pretty good clue as to what was coming next in the equally disappointing album ‘White Chalk’. But nevertheless, well worthy in any collection by this extremely talented recording artist!”

8. The Hope Six Demolition Project, 2016

PJ Harvey - The Hope Six Demolition Project | Reviews | Clash Magazine

“I’m baffled by the lukewarm reception this album received when first released. It almost feels, at times, that I’m listening to a completely different record than what others seem to be hearing. _Let England Shake_ gets all the accolades, but _Hope Six_ is, hands down, the better album. The set of songs here don’t exactly mark a departure from the previous work, but they trot a little further down the road to a darker and more alluring territory.”

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7. White Chalk, 2007

PJ Harvey: White Chalk Album Review | Pitchfork

“She continues to shock me and yet never disappoint me. Beautiful sounding album full of haunting lyrics. Hard to believe this is the same PJ from the early 90’s. I’m loving the way she continues to push herself into different territories. I’m not sure old fans will dig this, especially the fans of the early angry PJ. I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

6. Is This Desire?, 1998

PJ Harvey – Is This Desire? (1998, CD) - Discogs

“Is This Desire? is pure beauty in every sense of the word. It gives me the goosebumps because we’ve all asked ourselves the same question or felt the same way, at some point in time. There’s something seriously haunting about PJ’s voice here too (the high and low notes, the way she grinds down on some verses) and the melodramatic under toned music that harmonizes the song in such a magnificent and scenic way.”

5. Dry, 1992

Dry : PJ Harvey | Album | MuzPlay

“I can’t think of a more perfect break-up anthem album than Polly Jean’s debut, Dry. The sultry mix of sexy and fuming, PJ gives new edge to pining. I’ve never experienced an album that from first spin I was more lyrically drawn to than Dry. It was as if PJ was saying everything I wanted to and more. Lyrics so subtle and on the nose it went straight to my stomach and made its way into my head where it lived on repeat for months before I was able to listen to anything else. “Plants and Rags” haunting me still.”

4. Rid Of Me, 1993

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“If you ever wondered what its like to have someone hit you in the face with a brick listen to this album. In a way this is actually quite a calculated record in the sense that she obviously picked Albini specifically to get that distinctive sound which divides those who love or hate the album. The first half is all about tension, like a sniper shadowing her target, working herself up, analyzing motivations, preparing. The second is all release, full fury, its like every single bad boyfriend, bad mood, bad everything is made to pay and by the end all we’re left with is “Ecstacy”, literally, which highlights to me that this lady takes great care in how all her albums are sequenced as the last song always seems not only to be the most cathartic but also the one where she is at most peace with herself.”

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3. To Bring You My Love, 1995

Harvey, P.J. - To Bring You My Love + B-Sides Album - Amazon.com Music

“My first exposure to the genius that is PJ Harvey. At the time I had never heard music that oozed dirt-filled sleaze rock laced with sexual undertones. From the opening track I was hooked and no matter how many times I revisited this album it never got stale.”

2. Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea, 2000

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“This was such a shock after the relentless fury and deep soul-searching of her earlier albums that it took me months to get used to it, but I’m glad I saw it through because this may stand in the long run as the best batch of songs she ever wrote.”

1. Let England Shake, 2011

PJ Harvey: Let England Shake Album Review | Pitchfork

“It takes some pretty phenomenal songwriting for someone to completely reinvent everything about their sound, including instrumentation, style, subject matter, even an entirely different vocal sound, and instead of alienating an audience cultivated over decades making them come together in gob smacked astonishment. “