Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea Image
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 23 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 86 Ratings

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  • Summary: PJ Harvey's fifth, and possibly best, album sees her venturing away from the electronic experimentation of 1998's 'Is This Desire?' and returning to the purer rock sound prevalent on her early releases. Radiohead's Thom Yorke guests on the duet "This Mess We're In." Winner of the 2001PJ Harvey's fifth, and possibly best, album sees her venturing away from the electronic experimentation of 1998's 'Is This Desire?' and returning to the purer rock sound prevalent on her early releases. Radiohead's Thom Yorke guests on the duet "This Mess We're In." Winner of the 2001 Mercury Music Prize. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Chiming, richly textured and potently rhythmic, this is starkly, explicitly rock n' roll, and the back-to-basics approach beautifully frames Polly's tales of fear, love, sex, sadness, ugliness, and beauty.
  2. Her strongest work since 1995's To Bring You My Love.
  3. The Wire
    90
    Given her capacity to align reinvention with a developing maturity, the 13 lucky songs of Stories deliver a complex text. It is certainly less frenetic, as if Harvey is finding new ways to exert her presence. In addition, its thoughtful spaces and pauses suggest room for doubt and manoeuvre. [#202, p.49]
  4. A beautiful album that even non-Harvey fans might relate to, Stories is an undeniable, unrelenting triumph.
  5. The swampy exotica that was draped around both 1995's To Bring You My Love and '98's Is This Desire? has been forgotten: as proved by the likes of Big Exit and the pleasingly frantic Kamikaze, the dominant sound is that of a three-piece garage band, fused with enough production panache to prove that Harvey remains an admirably intelligent auteur.
  6. The happiest-sounding album she's ever made.... it may also be the best. While her austere sonic signature remains, the vocals are discernibly more relaxed, the tunes welcoming and even expansive.
  7. On her fifth solo release, Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, she may be maturing, or more vulnerable, or more vulnerable to her maturity. But regardless, the sheen gets slicker and her music gets duller as the time passes.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 22
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 22
  3. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. ofan
    Feb 10, 2005
    10
    just like a script for a movie, great story in it
  2. Aug 12, 2016
    10
    As fresh in 2016 as it was when released 15(!) years ago. Beautiful lyrics, the raw power from her earlier material plus the restraint andAs fresh in 2016 as it was when released 15(!) years ago. Beautiful lyrics, the raw power from her earlier material plus the restraint and beauty of the maturing PJ. A++++ Expand
  3. SusannahM
    May 16, 2004
    10
    PJ is amazing. This is her best work. I can't stop playing this CD.
  4. Sep 25, 2012
    10
    PJ Harvey's most famous album as well as her most acclaimed, this record shows the aging Polly trying to feel her love in the city ambient.PJ Harvey's most famous album as well as her most acclaimed, this record shows the aging Polly trying to feel her love in the city ambient. And so she does, and it's a beauty. More pop than ever, she managed to make herself commercial regardless not being a sell-out artist. The songwriting is as bold as ever, and the dark sounds of both 'To Bring You My Love' and 'Is This Desire?' remains knocking our ears, but the tones of happiness subdue it. One of the best album of the 00's. Collapse
  5. kurt
    Aug 8, 2007
    9
    I always wonder if someone at pitchfork writes an obviously and extremely incorrect review, such as this one, if they fire the guy. I hope they do.
  6. Feb 13, 2013
    9
    Pj Harvey ha demostrado de nuevo porque es la diosa de rock contemporáneo. Tal álbum aparenta carecer de profundidad comparado con losPj Harvey ha demostrado de nuevo porque es la diosa de rock contemporáneo. Tal álbum aparenta carecer de profundidad comparado con los anteriores, pero tal suceso es solo glacial. Se nota que Polly la esta pasando bien, pero sin olvidar sus raíces. Y quien dijo que en la trivialidad no era interesante? Expand
  7. RobB
    Sep 25, 2007
    8
    For me, this is her best record. It's probably the most accessible but for me that's part of its success. Her other work was too For me, this is her best record. It's probably the most accessible but for me that's part of its success. Her other work was too often art rock in the worst performance art sense but this record, channeling the best of that genre (i.e Pattis Smith) and adding real tunes, is a bit of a triumph. 8! Expand

See all 22 User Reviews