Click here for home page

Click here

Contact Us | Customer Information | Privacy Policy | Audio Help

Main Menu
Submit a review
Album Reviews
Book Reviews
DVD Reviews
Sign up for newsletter
Get Your EMail Address
Submit your website
Gronland Records (2005)

Petra Jean Phillipson

Produced by ex Verve guitarist Simon Tong, Notes On: Love is Petra Jean Phillipson’s debut solo album and includes both singles released to date – Independent Woman and One Day.

You can be forgiven if the name isn’t familiar; Petra Jean’s main claim to fame is being the singer for David Holmes Free Association. And to be fair, that’s not very famous.

But Notes On: Love could change that. And while it’s unlikely to propel her to mega stardom it should generate a cult following. Particularly with fans of that other PJ – PJ Harvey and Nick Cave. Because the album has the same brooding, quirky storyteller’s feel of Harvey/Cave material. And it’s equally well delivered.

Throughout, the instrumentation is sparse – only being used to add weight and feel. There’s nothing here that doesn’t add value. And Petra Jean’s delivery is very similar in style to PJ Harvey – spoken or sung, you can feel the emotion pouring out.

I Want The Impossible opens the album – a slow number with sleepy drawled vocals over acoustic and prominent bass. One Day ups the tempo – with drums this time and a wonderful catchy chorus with haunting backing vocals. Independent Woman is another undiscovered gem – a brooding strident atmospheric piece. It would fit perfectly on PJ Harvey’s To Bring You My Love.

Billy Steaks is a predominantly guitar and bass ballad, Nothing If Not Writing Time a beautiful song with haunting playing and wonderful backing vocals. I’m Lying a slow drawl, Into My Arms a Nick Cave cover.

And so it goes on, although for me, the album seems run a bit out of steam towards the end. The hidden outtake though - what sounds like an acappella Gaelic number - demonstrates just what a talented vocalist Petra Jean is.

To be fair, the album is a ‘grower’, getting under your skin and better and better with repeated listens. It takes a little perseverance but its well worth the effort and suggests the album will probably stand the test of time better than most. So while Notes On: Love is unlikely to make Petra Jean a household name it’s a must for anyone of a PJ Harvey / Nick Cave persuasion.


Review by Pete Whalley

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

Featured Artists
Artist Archive
Featured Labels
Label Archive
Do you want to appear here?