I’ve been listening to a lot of PJ Harvey the last few days. Her early albums are full of crazy explosive rock songs that don’t conform to the regular rock forms, but respect them enough to be recognizable. I remember reading a paired review of one of her early elpees with Liz Phair’s latest (at that time) in Esquire. The writer’s point was these crazy neurotic women could make some compelling music, which at the time seemed a little stupid, as if it wasn’t crazy neurotic men making most of the compelling music.
Rid of Me is the title song from Harvey’s first album, which was somewhat distinguished by being followed some months later by a release of the demos for the first album’s song. Which is the comparison we’re raising here.
The demo is a little different. Simpler, more direct, though the same ideas are there. This album became my go to PJ Harvey album. Until the next one came out.
And then later, she was established, a performer. Different, but the same, too.