Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

PJ Harvey: 4-Track Demos [Island, 1993]
All right, so this isn't a cult artist's first ripoff. The new songs assure that. "Easy," "M-Bike," "Hardly Wait," and especially the fleshpotted "Reeling"--where "Robert De Niro sit on my face" leaves no doubt about whose blow-job queen she wants to be--share the kind of eager emotionality that makes Steve Albini cringe, and the same looseness animates this "Yuri-G." But I don't know how anyone can compare Rid of Me's "Rid of Me" without succumbing to its marshalled power, or concluding that with some forethought she could find even more juice in her sexual enthusiasm. She is a performer, after all. B+