Uh Huh Her (album)

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Uh Huh Her
Uh Huh Her.jpg
Studio album by PJ Harvey
Released 31 May 2004
Recorded 2002–2003
Genre
Length 40:41
Label Island
Producer PJ Harvey
PJ Harvey chronology
Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
(2000)Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea2000
Uh Huh Her
(2004)
The Peel Sessions 1991–2004
(2006)The Peel Sessions 1991–20042006
Singles from Uh Huh Her
  1. "The Letter"
    Released: 17 May 2004
  2. "You Come Through"
    Released: 19 July 2004
  3. "Shame"
    Released: 20 September 2004

Uh Huh Her is the sixth studio album by English alternative rock musician PJ Harvey. The album was written, recorded and produced over a two-year period by the singer-songwriter herself. She also played every instrument in the album – a first from Harvey since 4-Track Demos in 1993 – with the exception of the final drum tracks, added by long-time collaborator Rob Ellis. It was released on 31 May 2004 in the United Kingdom and on 8 June 2004 in the United States.

To support the release, Harvey toured for seven months. She performed in various European summer festivals such as Glastonbury and opened for Morrissey in a few dates. During the same tour she also performed the album's unreleased title-track. Uh Huh Her debuted and peaked at number 12 in the UK Albums Chart and has been certified Silver by the BPI.[5] It became Harvey's highest charting album to date in the U.S., peaking at number 29 in the Billboard 200, and had sold more than 135,000 copies there as of 2005, according to AskBillboard. Although it charted higher than Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea in many territories, Uh Huh Her failed to achieve its predecessor chart longevity and crossover interest.

The album received largely positive reviews upon its release, although there was some criticism towards its production. It currently holds a 79 out of 100 metascore at Metacritic based upon 28 reviews, indicating "Generally Favorable Reviews". Uh Huh Her also earned PJ Harvey nominations to awards such as the Grammy Awards and the Brit Awards.

History[edit]

The album was written and recorded over a two-year period in Dorset, East Devon and Los Angeles. Much of the recording was done alone by Harvey using her four-track and eight-track home studio, guitar, keyboards and drum machine. For the first time since 1993's 4-Track Demos album, she produced it herself and played every instrument bar the final drum tracks, which were handled by her longtime collaborator Rob Ellis. Final recording and mixing was done by Head at the Presshouse Studio in rural East Devon in autumn/winter 2003.[citation needed]

Harvey told Mojo magazine, "I don't think 'tender' is a word that could be applied to anything I've written before, but that's how I feel about this album and I'm really pleased about it. Some of the songs are very gentle, very loving; with others I had a lot of fun in the words I used and the way I sang them." She explained to Time Out magazine how she "wanted to get back to the earthy, rootsy, more dirty side of things" following the popular success of her last album, 2000's Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea. She said, "I wanted this record to be simple, I wanted it to be ugly in some places, I wanted it to have a swagger to it... but also a real honesty and intimacy. I wanted a warmness and closeness and I wanted to make a welcoming record." To Spin magazine she said that, in contrast to the extreme darkness of some of her earlier LPs, "I find an enormous amount of openness and hope on this record... "The Desperate Kingdom of Love" or "You Come Through" I find incredibly optimistic and tender." Harvey also explained to Tracks magazine that, "I was looking for distressed, debased sounds. So all of the guitars are either tuned so low that it's hard to detect what notes they're playing or they're baritone guitars or they're played through the shittiest amps I could find."

On the inside sleeve of the album cover are a long set of self-portrait photographs that Harvey took over the years, and a series of scribbled annotations she collected during the songwriting process of Uh Huh Her – notes to herself such as "Scare yourself", "Too normal? Too PJ H?" and "All that matters is my voice and my story" (a piece of advice given to her by her friend Elvis Costello). She admitted to Shaken Stir that producing the record on her own was "a completely draining, disorientating, exasperating, invigorating experience" and "one of the hardest pieces of work I've ever done... I couldn't say that this record was an enjoyable experience. I think it was a journey that I learnt an enormous amount from, but certainly there were very enjoyable moments... I mean when I look back on it now it was a very difficult, hard and taxing time, and yet I'm so glad I did it – so glad."

Harvey underwent a seven-month tour in support of the album with drummer Rob Ellis and two new bandmates, bass player Dingo and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, which included various European summer festivals such as Glastonbury, and a few dates opening for Morrissey.

A song called "Uh Huh Her" was regularly played during the world tour, but not included on the album. It was eventually recorded for the digital compilation iTunes Originals – PJ Harvey.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic79/100[6]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[7]
Blender3/5 stars[8]
Entertainment WeeklyA[9]
The Guardian3/5 stars[1]
Los Angeles Times4/4 stars[10]
NME5/10[11]
Pitchfork7.6/10[12]
Q4/5 stars[13]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[14]
SpinB+[15]

Uh Huh Her was released in May 2004 in the UK and peaked at #12 in the UK Albums Chart. The album was preceded by lead single "The Letter", which reached #28 in the UK Singles Chart. Uh Huh Her became PJ Harvey's highest-charting record on the US Billboard charts, reaching #29. Overall, however, it did not spark the same level of crossover interest as its million-selling predecessor Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea. As usual with Harvey, the critical reception was generally strong: Alternative Press described the record as "profoundly moving", Entertainment Weekly called it "raw, dark and beautiful... a jagged, edgy winner", and Time noted that "No singer since Janis Joplin has moved as easily between primal scream and intimate sigh". The Sunday Times hailed it as "a thrilling, bone-rattling barrage, interleaved with moments of hushed, accordion-flecked intimacy whose closeness and apparent candour make you want to shield yourself from their passion." Hot Press magazine, meanwhile, felt it was "an extremely potent record... that contains more perspectives, characters and camera angles than maybe any PJ album to date". It won Harvey her sixth BRIT Award nomination, as Best British Female Artist, and her fifth Grammy Award nomination, for Best Alternative Music Performance of 2004.[citation needed]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Accolade Year Rank Ref.
Spin 2004 31 top 40 Best Albums of the 2004[16]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by PJ Harvey.

Uh Huh Her – Standard edition
No.TitleLength
1."The Life and Death of Mr. Badmouth"4:51
2."Shame"2:32
3."Who the Fuck?"2:09
4."Pocket Knife"3:41
5."The Letter"3:19
6."The Slow Drug"3:22
7."No Child of Mine"1:05
8."Cat on the Wall"3:00
9."You Come Through"2:46
10."It's You"4:12
11."The End"1:21
12."The Desperate Kingdom of Love"2:42
13."Seagulls"1:08
14."The Darker Days of Me & Him"4:35
Total length:40:41[7]

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Uh Huh Her's liner notes.[17]

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
France (SNEP)[35] none 111,000 [36]*
United Kingdom (BPI)[37] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[38] none 135,000 [39]^
Summaries

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Petridis, Alexis (28 May 2004). "PJ Harvey, Uh Huh Her". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  2. ^ Empire, Kitty (30 May 2004). "PJ Harvey, Uh Huh Her". The Observer. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  3. ^ Lovitt, Bryn. "The Noisey Editors' Best And Worst Of 2015: Bryn Lovitt". Noisey. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  4. ^ Lundy, Zeth (23 June 2004). "PJ Harvey: Uh Huh Her". PopMatters. Retrieved 24 December 2015. 
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  6. ^ "Reviews for Uh Huh Her by PJ Harvey". Metacritic. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  7. ^ a b Phares, Heather. "Uh Huh Her – PJ Harvey". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  8. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (June–July 2004). "PJ Harvey: Uh Huh Her". Blender (27): 142. Archived from the original on 15 August 2004. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  9. ^ Browne, David (11 June 2004). "Uh Huh Her". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  10. ^ Hilburn, Robert (30 May 2004). "PJ Harvey, still rockin' and roiling". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  11. ^ Smack, Eddie (21 June 2004). "PJ Harvey : Uh Huh Her". NME. Archived from the original on 23 March 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  12. ^ Dahlen, Chris (31 May 2004). "PJ Harvey: Uh Huh Her". Pitchfork. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  13. ^ "PJ Harvey: Uh Huh Her". Q (215): 100. June 2004. 
  14. ^ Hoard, Christian (24 June 2004). "Uh Huh Her (U.S. Version)". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  15. ^ Hermes, Will (June 2004). "Queen of Hearts". Spin. 20 (6): 101–02. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  16. ^ "Music: Milk-Eyed Mender (CD) by Joanna Newsom (Artist)". Tower.com. 23 March 2004. Archived from the original on 28 September 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  17. ^ Uh Huh Her (Media notes). PJ Harvey. Island Records. 2004. 986 639-5.  Retrieved 3 November 2012.
  18. ^ "PJ Harvey – Uh Huh Her". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  19. ^ "PJ Harvey – Uh Huh Her". austriancharts.at (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  20. ^ "PJ Harvey – Uh Huh Her". Ultratop (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  21. ^ "PJ Harvey – Uh Huh Her". Ultratop (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  22. ^ "PJ Harvey – Uh Huh Her". danishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  23. ^ "PJ Harvey – Uh Huh Her". dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  24. ^ "PJ Harvey – Uh Huh Her". finnishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  25. ^ a b "Discography PJ Harvey". lescharts.com (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  26. ^ "Album – PJ Harvey, Uh Huh Her" (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  27. ^ a b "Discography PJ Harvey". irish-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  28. ^ "PJ Harvey – Uh Huh Her". italiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  29. ^ "PJ Harvey – Uh Huh Her". norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  30. ^ "PJ Harvey – Uh Huh Her". portuguesecharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  31. ^ "PJ Harvey – Uh Huh Her". swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  32. ^ "PJ Harvey – Uh Huh Her". Hitparade (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  33. ^ a b "PJ Harvey | Artist". The Official Charts Company. British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  34. ^ a b "Uh Huh Her – PJ Harvey: Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  35. ^ "French album certifications – PJ Harvey – Uh Huh Her" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  36. ^ http://www.infodisc.fr/Ventes_Albums_Tout_Temps.php?debut=4050
  37. ^ "Certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original on 17 January 2010.  N.B. User must either enter "PJ Harvey" into Search, select "Artist" from Search by and click Go or "Uh Huh Her" into Search, select "Title" from Search by and click Go.
  38. ^ "American album certifications – PJ Harvey – Uh Huh Her". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  39. ^ https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/60260/ask-billboard

External links[edit]