Album Review: The Peel Sessions 1991-2004 by PJ Harvey
Excellent, Based on 2 Critics
AllMusic - 80 Based on rating 8/10
Part of a series commemorating the second anniversary of legendary BBC DJ John Peel's death, PJ Harvey's The Peel Sessions 1991-2004 feels like a thank you and goodbye to a longtime friend. It should almost go without saying that these performances are great. As good as PJ Harvey's albums are, her concerts are even more striking, and her rapport with Peel just adds to the intimacy and intensity of these songs.
PJ Harvey always seemd like an archetypal John Peel artist, and not just because Peel kick-started her ascent with a positive review of her debut single, “Dress,” in English music rag Melody Maker. Harvey’s early records slotted into a continuum of rock music that tricked structure out of its shell, taking the song to unexpected places; much like Peel’s other faves, Captain Beefheart and The Fall, Harvey tipped rock sideways, which consequently further emphasized the emotionally bald and coruscating content of her lyrics. (Don Van Vliet and Mark E Smith are not renowned for diarizing the battle of the sexes in their lyrics, from recollection.