Independent Music Reviews, March 1995
ARTIST: P.J. Harvey
RELEASE: To Bring You My Love
Reviewed by: Ronnie Ludwig
On the sleeve of "To Bring You My Love", we see an ethereal skeleton kneeling in urban decay represented by chipped and stained walls marred with age and decay, blackened floors giving the illusion of a void in place and time. On this background two old photographs are pasted, pictures of two little girls frozen in time, frozen in their little frocks and their innocent smiles smiling for daddy's camera.
Once in a while there comes an artist who is less concerned about commercial success than about the calling of song that first fell upon her soul, P.J. Harvey is one of these classics. Undeterred and unafraid of baring her most deepest of emotions all in the name of finding that form of communication that speaks without speaking...,music. P.J. Harvey plunges into the depths with "To Bring You My Love", she takes us to a place where there is no gender, a place of serenity where we wear our emotions on the outside, a place of childish naivete and a place that is so buried beneath our selves that it nears Chaos for many of us. This is a very personal album, not in the effort of sweet forgotten times and missed chances, but rather a path into ones inner space, an attempt to confront one's antiself and an effort to see into one own isolation, in "Meet Ze Monsta", she crosses into this threshold and finds herself enveloped in her own storms. In "Teclo", she rides on the range of astral projections to look into herself with foreigneyes. In "The Dancer", she looks into the eyes of the skeleton to find religion and it's awesome wonderness. In "I Think I'm a Mother", a lover is lost and the fragileness of contact is revealed. That deep-throaty voice that she sings in seems to cut through layers of protection that we surround ourselves with and reach into the abyss to bring out that which lurks in all of us. The music surrounds her voice and the rhythms echo in responde giving the whole album a lonely yet surreal voice. It is a voice of a woman in pain, a woman at the microphone singing in a locked battle with her innerself. And she is not timid in facing her battles, she is not afraid in questing for whatever she may uncover at the end off the secret journey.