P J Harvey- Let England Shake

On this her Eighth studio album P J surprises again, gone is the fuzzed guitar of her early work, the blues stomp of her mid-period and the piano of her last album replaced by ethereal echoes, war and zither. On first listen I was pretty under whelmed and it wasn’t until the third or even fourth time that the sheer masterful beauty of the record started to unveil itself. Inspired by conflict the violent imagery of the lyrics is hidden inside each composition as they float from the speakers. Even bits that at first seem to jar, like the hunting horn or the rap, eventually slot into place and add to the overall feel. Produced by long term collaborator John Parish this may turn off some of her fans that prefer her more guitar orientated work but it is definitely her most accomplished album to date and I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t have another Mercury Music Prize winner on her hands.   

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