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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2021 3:51 pm 
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This is obviously silly and not to be taken too seriously but as part of their 25th anniversary celebrations Pitchfork has just admitted that their 2000 review of Stories was wrong and they rescored the album from 5.4 to 8.4.

Quote:
For a music critic in 2000, PJ Harvey’s fifth album might actually have seemed “bland” and “middling.” After two scabrous noise-rock masterpieces and a near-universally acclaimed third album of baroque goth-blues majesty, the trip-hop character studies of 1998’s Is This Desire? had met a more muted reception. Now, Harvey was posing in Times Square and crunching out glossy arena-rock. When mainstream music journalism was still abundant, part of Pitchfork’s role, as an upstart online zine, was serving as a corrective to thoughtless advance praise. The rampant maleness of music criticism at the time didn’t help: Even positive, eminently thoughtful reviews of the album could be off-puttingly brusque on matters of sex.

Of course, the context in which “glossy arena-rock” meant something bad is long gone, and while Harvey’s songwriting was more direct than usual on this album, it was also some of her best. Few songs evoke the romance of pre-9/11 New York more powerfully than the whirling late-night tale “You Said Something.” Thom Yorke lends his ghostly vocals to three tracks, including a lead turn on “This Mess We’re In,” a The Bends-style churner for the Kid A era. And while there wouldn’t have been anything wrong if Harvey had gone slicker and more straightforward, she has never settled down since, cementing her art-rock legacy on successive albums that’ve returned to primal intensity, explored the piano and a higher vocal register, embraced autoharp and war imagery, even deconstructed the protest record. Killing your idols can be a noble pursuit, but this exuberant city-love album deserves all the praise it can get. –Marc Hogan


The full article (with 18 other records they admit they got wrong): https://pitchfork.com/features/lists-an ... -rescored/


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:57 pm 
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I saw this too and it’s nice that they’ve selected STFCSTFC as one of only 18 albums to reappraise out of 25 years worth of reviews. They should have got it right the first time though!

What REALLY bothers me is that as part of their celebrations they made a list of the 200 most influential artists of the past 25 years and they didn’t include Polly!!!! To me it renders the entire list utterly redundant. Yes, some folks could argue that perhaps her earliest albums (which fall outside the 25 year review period) were the ones that established her - there are definitely people who discount the work she’s done after 1995. However, you only have to read the revised Stories review: “cementing her art-rock legacy on subsequent albums”. The number of artists included on their list who are influenced and indebted to Polly makes her exclusion scandalous!

(…and obviously none of this really matters and who cares what Pitchfork thinks etc but I’m still going to have a moan)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2021 5:19 pm 
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sallytbyml wrote:
What REALLY bothers me is that as part of their celebrations they made a list of the 200 most influential artists of the past 25 years and they didn’t include Polly!!!! To me it renders the entire list utterly redundant. Yes, some folks could argue that perhaps her earliest albums (which fall outside the 25 year review period) were the ones that established her - there are definitely people who discount the work she’s done after 1995. However, you only have to read the revised Stories review: “cementing her art-rock legacy on subsequent albums”. The number of artists included on their list who are influenced and indebted to Polly makes her exclusion scandalous!

(…and obviously none of this really matters and who cares what Pitchfork thinks etc but I’m still going to have a moan)


Yeah, I was kinda bummed out they didn't mention her but not really surprised - they're a very American-centric website, and their consensus seems to be that Dry and Rid of Me are her best/go-to albums. Which is fine, of course, they're entitled to this point of view as a music publication.

Also, the list seemed to be very much based on some vague current relevance factor and I'm sure Polly would have been included had they published something similar 10 years ago, right after Let England Shake came out (which they waxed lyrical about). But she hasn't really released anything new in more than five years, hasn't toured since Hope 6 and as a result has pretty much fallen from the critical radar lately.

Anyway, cool to see some Stories love in mainstream music press, even if just as part of Pitchfork's clunky self-mythologizing effort. :grin:


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 6:31 pm 
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I've always enjoyed reading Polly's bad reviews, at least the long-past ones. You often learn more from them about what's good about each album than from the positive ones. Some critics reveal a little too much about themselves: some of the ITD ones are psychologically very odd indeed!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:12 pm 
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Pitchfork might not have featured Polly among their 200 most influential artists but both Stories and Let England Shake made their way to the People's List, i.e. 200 best albums of 1996-2021 selected by their readers - #111 and #123, respectively.

https://pitchfork.com/features/lists-an ... niversary/


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