Tuesday, February 15, 2011
PJ Harvey - Let England Shake (2011, Vagrant)
I’ve always really liked PJ Harvey. She is wily, wiry, gritty and scrappy, and her music follows suit. An artist of incredible integrity, Harvey’s discography has taken number of twists and turns over the years, always evolving, never bending to meet with anything outside of Polly Jean’s own hard-fisted vision, but still always falling just outside the circle of my very favourite artists. I’m not quite sure why. I’ve been rooting for her for years, knowing that it’s in her somewhere, that capacity to be an A-lister in the musical catalog of Mr. Nick Potter (as if she cared). She’d been at it so long though, I’d begun to forget about her a little bit. I was a bit careless with Uh Huh Her and White Chalk. A little disrespectful if I say so myself (not bad albums at all). But then she went on ahead and did this: Let England Shake. I’m am absolutely in love with this record. She’s done it. I’m still trying to catch my breath over this record. She’s always been consistent, always been good, but honestly, Let England Shake was totally unexpected. What’s better than this that has been released so far this year (granted, it’s mid-February)? For me, nothing. Not James Blake, not Destroyer, not even Deerhoof. Absolutely essential.