I was disposed to like Rid of Me, the second from the current darling of British street-cred arbiters. The guitars are hard and up-front without being stoopid. The production is wonderful: abstracted, uncompromised, poetic, and mostly like listening to a cheap stereo with one channel shot away — often stunning. Polly Jean Harvey is an inventive and passionate singer. The ingredients were lined up for something good to happen. Only trouble is, gee whiz, this is one of those angry-woman-spews-sexual-politics records. It has no heart. It speaks not of the hopes and fears of people like you and me, but of doctrine. Like a Led Zeppelin record: sounds great, means nothing. Unless, of course, you want to buy the flavor-of-the-month PC attitude, stick it in your head, and parade it like a banner. D
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