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The Major and the Minor

A roundup of big-name recordings that live up (or down) to expectations.

The sadness that imbues Desire is unrelenting; in this setting, even "Joy" is tragic (the song is about a "pitiful" woman who "never danced a step"). To Harvey, sex is creepy (check out "The River" and "Is This Desire?") and love is the cruelest of illusions. But artistically, she's operating on such an elevated plane that her most dour moods are still riveting. Don't visit the darkness without her.

Visit www.westword.com to hear sound samples from many of the recordings reviewed above.

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