P J Harvey - 'Is This Desire?'

This long awaited album from PJ Harvey should be a lesson in patience to all of us. Perhaps one of her best releases to date, this album appears to be the one Ms Harvey has wanted to make all along. Hypnotically beautiful, this record deals mainly with women and their misfortunes, and we imagine Polly herself, rocking in a corner, a flower adorned Ophelia singing these haunting tunes. At times gentle and melodic, at times scarily raw, but always terrifying and on the edges of sanity, we are taken along a melancholic but beautiful, emotional journey. Although the woes of her women characters is general subject matter, PJ Harvey is not the victim, but the muse who has seen these evils, and gives them a voice. Well worth the wait. This album sounds like the product of a breakdown, but I sincerely hope, for her sake, that it is not.

by Stephanie Heney sheney@Kogan-Page.co.uk