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Monday, July 9, 2012

"Rid of Me"

PJ Harvey - "Rid of Me" (1993)

Producer Steve Albini had just finished working on this album when he was asked to work on Nirvana's In Utero.

This is a raw sound. Three musicians, two doing some vocal work, but in one case it can not really be called singing. The drums, bass and guitar are menacing, no other word for it. The instruments are there, in the darkness, waiting, willing to hold off until you are too weak to run, and then they are going to hurt you. The lead vocal is angry, she has been wronged and so the idea that her partner should be punished is strong. She threatens to force the perpetrator to do things they don't want to do and find distasteful until they admit that it would have been better if they never met. This is the ego, bruised and demanding. But it is the background voice, the singer's angriest id that screams and rants, wanting and hating all together. This is a really powerful song with a really simple message: Do not. Make PJ Harvey. Mad.

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