PJ Harvey Albums Ranked in Order of Awesomeness
Emerging from the alternative haven of Bristol, U.K., in the late-’80s, the haunting woman and her backing musicians combined guttural noise with cocksure swagger. Her signature songs, such as Rid of Me’s “50ft Queenie,” stomped all over the boys club of grunge and demanded attention. Like Patti Smith before her, Harvey had a way of conjuring beautiful demons within herself and unleashing them upon unsuspecting listeners. Since arriving with 1992’s ‘Dry,’ she has purged through nine studio albums, taking on peculiar characters that drowned their children, acted like porcelain dolls and traveled the globe to save the less fortunate.
Although, as many had hoped, she never fully broke through to the American mainstream — her highest-charting album was 2004’s Uh Huh Her, which reached No. 29 — she has remained a critics’ favorite. This is because she always challenges herself, and her audience, with each new project and has never repeated herself.
Harvey has grown from an underground threat to a legendary presence, with antics like recording The Hope Six Demolition Project in a see-through building for passersby to witness. Her vulnerability and openness through verse is why we celebrate her work today. Click on the above gallery to see how we’ve ranked all nine of her records.