I think everyone has experienced bad luck at least once. I’m English, so of course I have. We never win at anything, right? But this song is not an ironic tale about Cricket or Rugger. This song appears to me to be about the edge of world that we walk off when we fall out of love. Although, for some who have possibly defied all odds, and never had their heart violated, then this is a disguised lesson in life. But if you have felt your heart strings flex in strange directions, then here’s a single - from a gal who lives a few minutes from my house - to reflect what you’ve felt. You’re really not alone, so sit back and try to enjoy the ride.
‘Good Fortune’ is as fresh as a winter morning. It’s not instantly loveable and it’s not exactly the type of thing you would want all the time but it is damn good IMHO. With each verse this song describes the pleasure of love. With the chorus there is the pain of it and a description of the desire to run away when things don’t quite go according to plan.
It’s quite strange how this has a folk-y edge but it doesn’t sound like the sorta thing some farmer would be singing at a Bridport pub near the home of Polly. Not that I’m on first name terms with her, it is not really like Harbour Lights around here. Maybe this is nu-folk? [note to self: I must start overusing this phrase so that it sticks as another pigeonhole for lazy journalists.] It is true to say this is one release which Universal are putting out that is made by the people for the people - and the bank balance of the biggest label in the world, obviously…
The lyrics sound like astute tangents of Tom Waits, but Miss.Harvey uses many more similes and less coils of confusion compared to that genius I just mentioned from across the pond. Speaking of the US, that is the place where one of our countries biggest exports ends up and I don’t mean Ab Fab! So why is it we, as a nation, haven't allowed our ears to be wrapped around and let our minds be affected, agitated and seduced by PJ Harvey? I guess or rather hope, things are slowly changing. This single has helped the initial sales of ‘Stories from the city, Stories from the Sea’ but its not gonna topple label rival Marilyn Manson, in this weeks album chart - not that the amount of people buying a record makes it inherently better. Maybe we should take issue with the eNMEy for having metaphorical orgasms over Coldplay and ask them why they weren’t wittering on about this so-called, Acoustic Movement, a few years ago!?
Nevertheless, if after the final brash acoustic strum of ‘Good Fortune’ rings out, you need more evidence for your well spent £1.99 on this single, then from your sound system comes ’66 Promises’. With it’s dirty strumming and vocal teasing; this has hopefully accomplished enough to lure you out into the Great British weather to purchase her back-catalogue...
...Hang on! Don’t go just yet because following those subtle strings in the fade-out of the first b-side, dawns ‘Memphis’. A bit rawer and with as much bitterness as a mouthful of Jif lemon, well, it would be it's a Jeff Buckly cover. This has got me sold.
Now, where did I put my shooting jacket, corgi and rifle?
8Sean Adams's Score