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PJ Harvey is back with a brand new album with John Parish. This is their second album together with joint billing and it's called 'A Woman A Man Walked By'. I won't go on about the discussion in the office when it was played originally but it had something to do with PJ Harvey and the entire staff of Norman Records and (possibly) a donkey. Needless to say we've all moved on from that now and norma ...

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A Woman A Man Walked By by PJ Harvey and John Parish
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8/10 Phil Staff review, 26 March 2009
PJ Harvey is back with a brand new album with John Parish. This is their second album together with joint billing and it's called 'A Woman A Man Walked By'. I won't go on about the discussion in the office when it was played originally but it had something to do with PJ Harvey and the entire staff of Norman Records and (possibly) a donkey. Needless to say we've all moved on from that now and normality can resume. I've always had a soft spot for PJ ever since Sheela Na Gig came out and I went to see her at the Duchess in Leeds all those years ago. I think over the years she's done some good albums and some not so good albums. I'm onto my second listen with this one now and I think it's gonna fall into the good category. It's quite a mixed bag really as the styles are reasonably experimental for her and less poppy than normal.... And it's quite all over the shop. On this album she ditchs the piano of White Chalk and moves into a more rocky discordant territory which I suspect has something to do with the guitar playing of El Parish. There's some weirdness on the album with her singing about chicken liver balls and proclaiming she wants your fucking ass. She's back sounding like a proper angry woman again which is nice to hear. The album is full of light and dark moments and it possibly feels a bit bitty. That is I'm not entirely sure how well it all gels together as a piece of work but I think the songs are good on the whole and that's enough for me. Plus there's an amazing picture of John Parish on the back of the sleeve where he looks like an owl doing an impersonation of Sting. Nice!

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