The 98 Best Songs of 1998: Pop's Weirdest Year

In 1998, boundaries blew open and new genres were invented each week. We look back at the best, brightest and weirdest from a pivotal year in pop

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73. PJ Harvey, "Is This Desire?"

Polly Jean Harvey, the devil must have spent a little more time on you. The goth-punk blues siren was in a transitional mode in the late Nineties, marking time after her world-beating run of Dry, Rid of Me and To Bring You My Love. Harvey finds her groove in the stripped-down "Is This Desire?," about an all-consuming love jones. (Considering Nick Cave's Harvey tributes like "West Country Girl" on The Boatman's Call, this could be her answer.) The song leans on her underrated guitar – it has the raw power of 4-Track Demos, which might hold up as her greatest album. Her voice lives up to the title – yes, it's Desire, and sometimes it's even Blood on the Tracks. Harvey's next album was one of her most acclaimed, the urban romance Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea.

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