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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Let England Shake

PJ Harvey

2011

Let England Shake

Album Summary

Let England Shake is the eighth studio album by English singer-songwriter and musician PJ Harvey, released on 14 February 2011 by Island Records. Production began around the time of White Chalk's release in 2007, though it is a departure from the piano-driven introspection of that album. Let England Shake was written over a 2+1⁄2-year period, and recorded in five weeks at a church in Dorset during April and May 2010. Upon release, the album received numerous accolades. It was placed 2011 "Album of the Year" by 16 publications and in September 2011 won the coveted Mercury Prize. It was PJ Harvey's fourth nomination overall (including 2001's winner Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea), making her the most successful artist in the prize's history. The album also won the Uncut Music Award in November 2011, as well as Album of the Year in the 2012 Ivor Novello Awards.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.15

Votes

5426

Genres

  • Rock
  • Indie
Reviews
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Fri Nov 19 2021
2

Normally I like pretentious shit like this, but this one just felt like… well, pretentious shit. Like a female Thom Yorke without anybody to ground him.

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Tue Mar 30 2021
5

The glorious land has a very nice trumpet sample. The last living rose is a very fulfilling song. I like how the album flows, on the first glance the songs show similarity on an level that it sounds like an concept album. Also, how PJ sings on this album (quite different than on other her albums). Awesome album, I really liked it.

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Thu Mar 10 2022
5

When I first listened to this album, I put this repeat for 3 or 4 times then I read the lyrics for each track and my first thought was how much research she should have done to write like this ? Then I found out she spent about two and half to three years on researching. It has definitely paid off. Brilliant album. These are highly poetic songs full of rich dreamy melodies which reminisces the poetry of Randall Jarrell. "Francis Ford Coppola can lay claim to the war movie. Ernest Hemingway the war novel. Polly Jean Harvey, a 41-year-old from Dorset, has claimed the war album."

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Wed Jan 13 2021
4

Very coherent sound, dark but futuristic, relaxing but engaging, like an elf making a nick cave album. Has something of björk I'd say... Definitely sounds of maturity and maybe a bit of complacency, but not in a bad way.

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Mon Nov 29 2021
4

There's something in the instrumentation that compliments the subject matter perfectly. That autoharp has a ghostly quality about it that makes me thing of old-timey soldiers trudging off to war, and rugged, wintry English countryside. Not every track is a galáctico (The Last Living Rose and On Battleship Hill are my favourites) but as a self-contained album it's more the sum of its parts. 4.5.

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Mon Mar 01 2021
2

Gen X angst as it ages. I didn’t care for it.

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Wed Mar 31 2021
1

Um, what? Terrible.

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Thu Jan 28 2021
1

Not a fan, sounds confusing for me, I prefer other melodies, couldn't get to the end, had to stop listening it.

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Tue Feb 02 2021
1

Not sure what to say, usually a fan of PJ, didn’t really like it

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Tue Feb 16 2021
1

1001 albums that to listen to before you die and/or before considering putting Let England Shake on deck in Spotify: play the White Album 1000 times and Clair de Lune once. Then die. Don't listen to Let England Shake. It's entirely about death anyways and 100% hell. I thought I liked PJ Harvey, but maybe that's just 90s PJ Harvey. Or maybe Liz Phair? I was absolutely fine living the rest of my life without listening to this one.

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Wed Oct 20 2021
1

Anything making England sound good can fuck off

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Fri Dec 03 2021
1

I'm assuming that this was included on the list of albums to hear before I die just so I could understand how bad music can be. I've gotta check to see if my ears are bleeding now. Absolutely awful.

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Fri Jan 14 2022
1

Not great, really folky (with an indie tinge to it as well). Reminds me of something Yoko Ono would have come out with at points.

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Thu Jan 07 2021
5

listening on loop

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Thu Dec 03 2020
5

She definitely doesn’t have as much gruff in her voice as her past records, but I think it suits her better. The intro track is a little odd. It’s not COMPLETELY blowing me away but I definitely enjoy it. The production from inside the church definitely has this cavernous feeling to it. Like you gotta lean in to it. Nice reverb to everything. GREAT instrumentation. It sounds pretty consistent, maybe “uniform” if you want to be harsh. Butevery track is super solid.

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Tue Nov 02 2021
5

This is my favourite PJ Harvey album, it's ruddy good stuff.

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Mon Nov 01 2021
5

Completely new to me!! Really inventive and exciting. Not only have I never experienced PJ Harvey before, I've never heard other music I could compare this to. I think that makes this extremely clever and enticing. Love the mixture of sounds and the album kept my interest throughout.

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Fri Nov 19 2021
5

A perfectly polished PJ album with some interesting vocal and instrumentation changes. Her songwriting and delivery always pair well for me.

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Sat Dec 04 2021
5

PJ Harvey’s songwriting skills are on full display with this powerful, poetic, impactful collection of songs lamenting the history of England’s wars and the West’s more recent military interventions. Harvey has assembled a team of talented musicians to produce a clear and consistent vision and the album is a cohesive, satisfying whole. The mood is sorrowful and contemplative whilst also pulsating with an insistent tempo and a laconic wit. Harvey’s vocals are soft and exquisite. This is a stunning record and a fine work of art.

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Mon Dec 20 2021
5

PJ Harvey does not disappoint with a more delicate and wavering voice which communicates the disillusionment that is found throughout this album. The music is more atmospheric with jangly new wave inspired guitars which further build the sense of disillusionment and distrust

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Thu May 05 2022
3

This is the third PJ Harvey I have rated and I must admit, this one kept my interest the least. The earlier albums were more raw and hungry, while this one never connected with me maybe because it wasn't very interesting or unique. A bit too bland for my taste.

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Tue Feb 08 2022
2

What in the wordle? I'm not really sure that's how you play it, but it sounds good to me, so I'm going to go with it. This has the same classic PJ vocals, but seems even hauntier. Yeah, I just made up that word. Wordle it. The last few tracks here offer voices other than PJ (VOTPJ) more than we have experienced in the past, and some of them don't quite compliment as much as you'd like.

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Thu Feb 10 2022
2

Disappointed in this one - feels way too tame for a Harvey album. Missing the usual frenetic, undeniable energy of her past LPs and feels deflated and limpid as a result.

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Thu Feb 17 2022
2

I really don't get it. One of the songs I had to mute because it was squeeling and I thought something was wrong with my car

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Wed Feb 23 2022
2

Why do I have such a problem listening to PJ Harvey?!

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Fri Feb 25 2022
2

Lots of polyphony which was interesting, but not fun to listen to a lot of the time. It was not my cup of tea. She's interesting and definitely a musical pioneer. It just wasn't enjoyable for me.

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Mon Mar 28 2022
2

This is the third PJ Harvey album we've had and listening to half of it was enough to give this album the same rating as the other two. It's weird, unpleasant and I can't hear any justification for this album's inclusion on this list.

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Mon Apr 25 2022
2

Meh. Not really for me. I think I might have appreciated the more political songs if I was a bigger lyrics person but nothing melodically gripped me here.

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Tue Aug 30 2022
2

Meh. This album was boring. I've really got no other word for it. I thought I'd be able to get into some of the dark concepts around this album, but I didn't find myself becoming interested at any point. In fact, it almost felt like it was trying too hard, and came off as pretentious. This was another album where I didn't feel like it warranted the "must hear before you die" label. This was my second PJ Harvey album on this project so far, and I know there are many, many more to come, and I'm just wondering...why? What is this author's obsession with them?

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Sat Apr 17 2021
1

I can't do anymore quirky clap clap

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Fri Jan 22 2021
1

i don't get it. not my thing

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Tue Feb 22 2022
1

Let England Shake by PJ Harvey (2011) This is a concept album, and the concept is intense, but naïve. PJ Harvey writes songs depicting the horrors of war, especially those fought by the English (specifically WWI and the more recent wars in the Middle East), as if generations of soldiers had not composed literature treating the theme more authentically and powerfully. She laments the fact that England achieved greatness with bloodshed, apparently unconcerned about possible alternatives. In other words, her worldview is shaped by horrified indignation and spiced with gore, without providing any evidence of an awareness of either history or political science. Musically, it’s a mess, and she should have either revisited her decision to play saxophone or she should have tuned it to the guitar. Rarely have I been so eager to hear the final strains of the closing track. 1/5

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Tue Jan 26 2021
5

ASTOUNDING

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Tue Apr 27 2021
5

Really really good. Not sure how this rolled past me 10 years ago :thinking_face:

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Wed Mar 03 2021
5

Legendario

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Wed Jun 16 2021
5

This was my first PJ, I feel like a fool

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Tue Jun 15 2021
5

really enjoyed this! it's gentle and peaceful and much better than her others, liked her vocals and the music was super easy to listen to. 9

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Sat Jun 12 2021
5

Endlich wieder pj Harvey!! Toll toll toll!!!

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Thu Mar 25 2021
5

Epic! Love this genre, maybe make it mine?

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Fri Jun 18 2021
5

British people are okay, I guess. Genuinely had a nice time listening to this. I had a feeling I'd like this but I didn't think I'd feel so calm listening to this.

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Sun Aug 01 2021
5

Cool, might be on my rotation.

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Tue Oct 26 2021
5

One of her best.

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Thu Dec 09 2021
5

PJ :sydän: Tää saa kummasti aina kaipaamaan brittien sumuisille kukkuloille

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Mon Jan 31 2022
5

Great 😃

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Thu Feb 03 2022
5

<3

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Wed Feb 23 2022
5

I can't believe this album is over 10 years old still think of it as being current. ii quite like PJ but this album blew me away when I first heard it. the vision of it is staggering and quite unique. the visceral lyrics play on the horrors of war of the cultural constructs of nations. the music is amazing, distorted guitars, bulges and autoharp makes an altered sound. but back to the central album question what is it? this one answers by the fact the songs hang together all part of a shared vision of a something unique brutal and beautiful.

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Mon Apr 25 2022
5

I think there are two types of PJ Harvey. Great ones and greater ones. The power of the work is extraordinary, and the work is one of beauty notwithstanding the pervasive images of war. Time will tell if this is her career peak.

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Sun May 15 2022
5

It's like the angriest most darkly produced folk you can get, I really love this album.

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Thu Jun 02 2022
5

Interesting throughout and her voice is perfect.

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Wed Jun 22 2022
5

Well this is unlike the PJ Harvey I'm familiar with - way less abrasive and raw, this is dreamy and folky, and I can't help feeling a little sinister... PJ Harvey does the Wicker Man! Fave track - "The Words That Maketh Murder", perhaps? Will definitely be coming back to this album....

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Wed Jun 22 2022
5

What a hammer-blow of an album.

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Thu Jun 23 2022
5

I’ve been hearing that this album is great since it came out and I’m dumb for not listening to it until now because it is great.

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Sun Jun 26 2022
5

The mere fact that two decades in since the start of her musical career, and after all the great albums she put out, PJ Harvey managed to conceptualize, write, and record one of the top three LPs she's ever released justifies the presence of "Let England Shake" in this list. What we have here is a very rare animal. It's a loose concept album about war and its weight on the English collective consciousness, but this admittedly ambitious conceit never goes in the way of the overall musicality and individual strength of the songs gathered for said record's tracklist. Those songs are indeed some of the most memorable she ever penned, between the lively numbers "Let England Shake", "The Words That Maketh Murder" (and its infectious male background vocals by Mick Harvey and longtime producer John Parish), and the cavalry horn-propelled "In The Glorious Lands", not to mention all the poignant ballads interspersed in the middle of thdm ("The Last Living Rose" and "All And Everyone" come to mind here, even if none of those already great cuts can can match with "In The Dark Places" and its epic finale--hear those moving voices lamenting about a world born out of WW1 trenches and weep, dear listener). Parish's production of those admirable compositions is balanced, dynamic and subtle--rarely has auto-harp in a "rock" album sounded so good before--and Polly Jean's vocal performance is one-of-a-kind--each inflexion of her voice, from shrill and eccentric adlibs to lower and more grounded moments, clearly telling the listener that she is inhabited by many different characters in the course of her musical yarn. Add lush brass to the mix as a colorful conterpoint, and the end result is one of the best albums of the 2010s, and certainly the best record of 2011. Number of albums left to review or just listen to: 878 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 66 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 30 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): 27

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Mon Jul 11 2022
5

I've always liked PJ Harvey, but never enough to listen to her albums. This changed my mind, in a good way.

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Mon Aug 29 2022
5

An angry and impassioned commentary on the realities and futility of war, juxtaposing those who start wars with those who have to fight them. Musically and lyrically innovative and unique. The singing of critical lyrics of war over music that is reminiscent of traditional English folk is striking and clever. Form and function perfectly in sync to devastating effect. An artistic triumph and essential listening. Rating: 5/5 Playlist track: The Glorious Land Date listened: 26/08/22

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Sat Sep 03 2022
5

How did I ever miss this album? One of the best of the last 20+ years, at least. Highly recommended.

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Sat Oct 08 2022
5

Everything but the recording points to this being the exemplary English-folk-rock release in recent decades. That first property even points straight back to Harvey herself, and the grimier overall sounds of earlier releases. One is tempted to say "darker", but the lyrical material on Let England Shake represents as much darkness as anything, the smooth elegant choking kind. The listening experience was inviting, even in the context it occurred in. It's like Björk but further in English, and I must be true to that impression.

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Mon Oct 31 2022
5

I've adored & worshipped PJ ever since I heard Sheela-na-gig way back in the day. Constantly evolving, constantly changing, constantly delivering some of the finest albums known to humanity.

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Mon Dec 05 2022
5

"Let England Shake" is the eighth studio from PJ Harvey. The album was recorded in a Dorset County church in five weeks and won the 2011 UK Mercury Prize. Lyrically, this is an intense affair as PJ sings about war, portraits of war and the devastation of World World I typically from the vantage point of a soldier. Speaking of singing, PJ uses a much a higher octave-voice almost a like little girl than her previous more mature voice. I think it works extremely well. PJ spent a few years researching World War I and modern soldiers who were in Iran and Afghanistan. Quite an effort and it pays off big time. A rolling beat and autoharp start "Let England Shake" almost sounding like The Doors which is no accident since she listed them along with a lot of others as influences for this album. The PJ high octave voice. Commenting on those who lost their lives in the Gallipoli War. Multiple singers give the second single "The Glorious Land" almost a sing-along feel . Although with the horns and guitar this ends up more a March. About America bombing Japan. The autoharp which she learned to play proir to this album stands out in the first single "The Words that Make the Murder." Happy sounding music as she sings about the atrocities of war. As many of you know, I'm a fan of dichotomies and contrasting things. In the second half, PJ rips off a few rockers and I thought I might be listening to "Rid of Me." "In The Dark Places" rocks with an electric guitar, builds tension and features a trombone. A soldier wakes up, scans his war field and ends with him hiding in the forest with his gun. "Bitter Branches" continues with a fast-paced guitar. PJ screaming. We're back to 1992 PJ. A soldier dying and will eventually be in the ground. "Written on the Forehead" is the third single and probably my favorite song on the album. Dreamy-like with piano. We're back to high-pitched PJ. Emotional. Beautiful in its sound. More about war images in the Middle East. A background voice talking about fires and ending with PJ singing "Let it burn." This is a great album. It might be my favorite PJ one and she has some very, very excellent albums. A must listen.

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Tue Dec 15 2020
4

Good stuff again from PJH

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Tue Nov 24 2020
4

PJ Harvey

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Tue Jan 05 2021
4

Timeless sound and feel to the album, harkens back to a Scott Walker grandiosity in scope and tone

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Mon Jan 11 2021
4

My introduction to PJ Harvey. Really good album, cool vibe.

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Tue May 18 2021
4

Pleasant surprise!

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Wed Jan 13 2021
4

Made me think of Feist and Agnes Obel. This one is definitely a keeper!

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Wed Mar 03 2021
4

Muy bueno.

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Fri May 14 2021
4

Let England Shake is the eighth studio album by English singer-songwriter and musician PJ Harvey, released on 14 February 2011 Upon release, the album received numerous accolades. It was placed 2011 "Album of the Year" by 16 publications[3] and in September 2011 won the coveted Mercury Prize. Mike Williams of NME wrote: "Francis Ford Coppola can lay claim to the war movie. Ernest Hemingway the war novel. Polly Jean Harvey, a 41-year-old from Dorset, has claimed the war album."

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Fri Jun 18 2021
4

Rich orchestral live sound. Really beautiful instrument, is that autoharp? Also really weird, would expect no less from PJ. Lots of folk influence, lyrically, conceptually, musically. I think I would give it a 5 if this was less obvious. I do prefer her more growling vocal sound from older albums. The thinner vocals here have a slightly annoying faux childish sound. I still think of this as her "new album" even though its now 10 years old.

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Sat Jan 16 2021
4

I’m really surprised at how much I liked this.

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Mon Feb 22 2021
4

Nice

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Tue Jun 01 2021
4

Im Erscheinungsjahr von „Let England Shake“ hat mein fantasy-PJ-and-Fiona-Apple-fangirl bereits eine Tochter; Lotta heißt sie, benannt nach der Kölner lefty Kneipe und gezeugt in einer dieser seltener werdenden, unverkrampft freudvollen Nächte, auf einer sich übermütig brechenden Woge des dort ausgeschenkten Newcastle Ale. Nun ist Post-Brexit und das Töchterchen schon fast ausm Nest und da widmet sich mein körperlich gealtertes/geistig jung gebliebenes fangirl diesem Spätwerk Harveys, von dem fangirls und -boys behaupten dürften, es sei PJ zu recht zum 2. Mal der Mercury Prize verliehen. Und da sind mir dann alle meilenweit voraus, weiß ich doch kaum etwas über PJ, hab mich nie interessiert, hatte wohl auch mit keinem ihrer weiblichen Fans, so wie ich sie mir vorstelle, je Sex gehabt und somit keine Chance auf eine Tochter namens Lotta. Zu wenig Übereinstimmung, zu disparat die jeweiligen Welten, obschon man sicherlich schon im Stereo Wonderland oder in Odonien nebeneinander für Bier anstand. Ich erkenne aber, dass manche Unterschiede sich zunehmend auflösen, als Eitelkeiten oder Distinktionsgeschiss erkannt und als solches zum Teufel gejagt werden. Im besten Fall. Und in diesem nehme ich diese Abrechnung mit der Heimat eine halbe Dekade vor Referendum als etwas sehr gutes, wertvolles und verständliches war. Verspielt ist alles ein wenig, ohne an Ernst zu verlieren, vielfarbig instrumentiert. Sanfte hooks, gute vielleicht politisch etwas zu vorhersehbare Englisch LK-taugliche Texte, sanft flirrende Gitarre, glaubwürdige Erzählerin. Der Flood‘sche Sound erinnert mich an Scott Walkers Produktion des Pulp Schlusspunkts „We Love Life“, was eher eine Bilanz wie auch Aussicht auf das Älterwerden in UK & überhaupt überall bereit hält; demgegenüber drischt PJ‘s Rundumschlag auf das historisch abgewickelte Empire ein. Ich hoffe, Lotta hört mal so unvoreingenommen rein wie ich nun. Vom ersten Ton an 3.9

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Mon Jan 18 2021
4

Bastante consistente. Se puede tener de fondo durante el trabajo

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Sat Feb 27 2021
4

This is pretty cool, very unique obviously. Can't name a standout track, I'd never put it on but never turn it off either

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Mon Mar 29 2021
4

Eigenlijk best goed, 4 sterren? Ja? ik denk het wel.

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Thu Jun 17 2021
4

Geen al te speciaal album. Goed voor op de achtergrond. Niet het beste werk van PJ Harvey

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Mon Mar 01 2021
4

Solid, enjoyed it!

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Wed Jun 23 2021
4

I had never heard of this band before, but this album was super fun! The lyrics were fairly eccentric at times, but I think it added to the uniqueness of the record as a whole well.

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Wed Jul 14 2021
4

I absolutely love Harvey's vocals on this album, and the lyricism is incredible!

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Tue Jun 01 2021
4

What a great album! We had never heard of her before. Very innovative, and reminiscent of Bjork.

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Fri May 14 2021
4

I don't immediately love this album, but after a few listens I am really starting to enjoy it.

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Fri May 28 2021
4

Will listen to again

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Fri Jun 18 2021
4

this album was AWESOME but the first 3 songs werent as good as the rest of the album imo, at least on first listen. it only got better as it went on though!!! i liked it it was pretty good. id have to relisten to appreciate it better

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Mon Jul 05 2021
4

It was really good, the sound and the topics are dark, but there's some lightness and airiness, which gives an interesting experience. The Last Living Rose is such a nice song.

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Fri Jun 25 2021
4

not bad - quiet

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Wed Sep 08 2021
4

Was pretty smooth, i listened to some other songs, not bad at all

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Sat Oct 02 2021
4

Energetic and sweet.

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Mon Oct 04 2021
4

Great album. Definitely my favorite of her modern albums. 7-8/10

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Sat Oct 09 2021
4

Вдохновляет. Запись в церкви!

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Thu Oct 14 2021
4

Was afraid this was going to be another british punk album. It probably got an extra star just because it wasn't

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Mon Oct 25 2021
4

"Sing, sing PJ, with your other-worldly voice Pack up your troubles and let's head out To the fountain of joy and listen out Swim back, forth, back, back, laugh out loud"

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Mon Oct 25 2021
4

Ooooo. I've been on a PJ jag lately... This is very exciting... I loved this when it was released, now time for a focussed relisten! Yay. Love the autoharp, didn't she play it like a rockstar 😍 The bugle in The Glorious Land fascinates me everytime I listen to this album. Super cool inclusion

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Tue Nov 02 2021
4

I actually really enjoyed this having been rather skeptical about the last PJ Harvey. Would definitely listen again

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Fri Nov 05 2021
4

Pretty nice piece of alternative rock, I even started to like Britain for a while

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Sat Nov 06 2021
4

4.0 + More interesting as a concept than as a collection of songs to love, this album's more of a "thinker." Still, it's thoughtful and well-crafted, striking the right tone without too much sentiment or intellectualizing. I prefer the raw sexuality of early PJ Harvey but I'm glad it's not bland like some other recent records.

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Mon Nov 08 2021
4

Melodically, I was super into this. Lyrically, it was pretty solid but I have to admit I wasn't paying as much attention because the music sometimes captivated me so much. A few songs here and there that didn't stick for me, but I'm sure a re-listen will do just that.

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Tue Nov 09 2021
4

Hmmm, an interesting listen, one that I will come back to definitely. Particularly enjoyed Bitter Branches

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Tue Nov 09 2021
4

Dásamlega svört ást til Englands sem er svo brotið land. Þoka, stríð og myrkur.

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Sat Nov 13 2021
4

Didn't know what to expect and yet still don't know what to feel. Grabs me in moments and I'm gone in others. Overall still 4 Stars because it makes me question myself.

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Sat Nov 13 2021
4

Really interesting but delightful album. The variation in styles is easy listening

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Thu Nov 25 2021
4

Soft and poetic

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Mon Nov 29 2021
4

Brilliant album to get lost in. England and In Dark Places are particular highlights.

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Sun Dec 05 2021
4

Great needs further listening - one of those that unfolds with every listen

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Thu Dec 09 2021
4

Siisti ääni ja hienon dramaattisia sävellyksiä/sovituksia

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Thu Dec 09 2021
4

tosi kivat melodiat ja saundit ylipäätään. varmaan pitäis kuunnella lyriikoita tarkemmin, nyt taustalla kuunnellessa sain lähinnä irti että okei englanti mainittu, ja sota.

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Fri Dec 24 2021
4

Great folk vibe.

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Mon Jan 10 2022
4

The epitome of consistency… album after album. This is another instant classic from Polly!!

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Mon Jan 10 2022
4

Really good actually, despite being the 3rd folk rock album I've had in the past 4 days. I liked the weirder and darker-sounding tracks a lot. "On Battleship Hill" and the title track are certified bangers.

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Sat Jan 15 2022
4

Not my favourite PJ Harvey album, but still great.

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Fri Jan 28 2022
4

PJ Harvey je zakon, već neko vrijeme pokušavam preslušati njene albume, ali nikako da dođe na red, ak neće tako, onda će mi ovdje reć kad da šta poslušam od nje. Od "On Battleship Hill" pa sve do kraja mi je najdraži dio albuma = 2. dio, iako mi se najbolja pjesma s albuma "The Last Living Rose" nalazi na početku.

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Fri Jan 28 2022
4

Dis album is well fit bruv. The lady geezer knows what she's doin.

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Mon Jan 31 2022
4

Great sound and lyrics slightly lacking at times in the tunes dept hence 4 stars. Dipped a bit on re-listening from when I remember it last.

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Thu Feb 17 2022
4

Mais leve e etéreo.

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Wed Feb 23 2022
4

Love PJ Harvey, but she's not easy listening. This is one of her finer albums.

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Wed Feb 23 2022
4

Very different from her other album that showed up for me earlier, but equally as good.

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Thu Mar 03 2022
4

This was actually quite a pleasant listen

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Mon Mar 07 2022
4

By 2011, PJ Harvey had been on the scene for long enough to become one of the old guard: a figure of the establishment in alternative rock. "Let England Shake" is has a gravitas and elegance to it which befits this reputation, but still takes plenty of bold risks along the way. It won Harvey her second Mercury Prize, made her even more of a critics' darling and left me feeling a bit cold on it initially- as though she could do no wrong. However, after listening to it, I have to agree with the consensus that this is a dark and gripping piece of work. I've only heard bits and bobs of PJ Harvey's other albums, but I'm fairly certain that none of them sound much like this. "Let England Shake" already feels both timely and timeless: drawing on generation after generation of pastoral folk, hymnal music, protest songs and wartime poetry. In doing so, Harvey asks what it means to be English, how any sense of pride is distorted and perverted by prejudice and hate. It's very literary, inherently musical, and it’s a rare concept album that really WORKS without getting too bogged down. The relentless focus on war, conflict and violence only intensifies the impact of each successive song. As fun as it is to hear Harvey expanding her musical reach (she plays the saxophone for the first time! Her vocal range is expanding way beyond what she's done before! And so much autoharp!) the lyrics are understandably the focus. Once I'd started reading them alongside the music, it was hard to tear myself away. Some choice turns of phrase: "Let me walk through the stinking allies, to the music of drunken beatings"… "I've seen flies swarming everyone… soldiers fell like lumps of meat"… "Some dove in the river and tried to swim away… through tons of sewage, fate written on their foreheads" Such powerful, visceral imagery. There are many other highlights worth singling out in the music. The waiflike banshee howl of the vocals in "On Battleship Hill". The tribal urgency pounding its way through "Bitter Branches." And "Written on the Forehead"- one of my personal favourites - making use of an intriguing sample of Niney's reggae hit "Blood and Fire". There aren't many flaws at all here: "Let England Shake" is clearly a well-thought-out, fully realised work of art. Though "The Colour of the Earth" is a strange closing track, with a sudden appearance from duet partner Mick Harvey (The Bad Seeds). It doesn't quite end on the desolate, wartorn note I was expecting. Still, I really enjoyed getting to know this album and it's absolutely deserving of most of the praise heaped on it.

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Mon Mar 07 2022
4

This was new to me and I liked it. PJ is an artist who, whilst she has been on my radar, hasn't been an object of concern.

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Fri Mar 11 2022
4

Kende deze niet, wel een aantal andere plaatjes van haar, die eigenlijk net wat beter zijn, maar toch behoorlijk goed!

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Tue Mar 15 2022
4

Pleasantly surprised. Love the vibe of this album. Very emotional. Will come back to this album.

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Thu Mar 31 2022
4

Can’t believe I never heard it in full before. Amazing record

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Sun Apr 03 2022
4

veisla

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Wed Apr 06 2022
4

Wonderfully quirky. Bold structure

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Wed Apr 06 2022
4

Enjoyed the vocals a lot. Favourites: "The Last Living Rose", "The Words That Maketh Murder", "On Battleship Hill"

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Fri Apr 15 2022
4

Really enjoyed it

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Fri Apr 22 2022
4

Of the four PJ Harvey albums I've had so far, this one is by far the best. At times a haunting intersection of interesting muscality and thoughtful lyrics. (It's also sometimes annoying.) Best track: In the Dark Places

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Fri Apr 22 2022
4

I don't like this album as much as the more gritty albums PJ Harvey delivered prior to this one (I miss her guitar sound); but that's called being picky, as those are some of my all time favourite albums. Nevertheless, this is a huge album. The narrative driven songs with their ever so relevant anti war message add on top of the great (and very original) music to deliver an album that's much more than the sum of its parts.

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Wed May 04 2022
4

I liked this one a lot better than the previous PJ Harvey album. THere were some definite highs on this one, songs that I really enjoyed, sand a few that were just kinda so so. Still, it's a step up from the last one which was a strong 3. So this would be a 4. I like the harmonies, and listening to it on youtube the song intros worked for me.

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Wed May 04 2022
4

I really like her sense of melody and she's a terrific songwriter. Some really nice guitar playing by her on this album, too. Overall, I dig the sound and style of this album, even though it's a little jarring in spots but I have a feeling that's how she intended me to receive it. Very interesting album.

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Tue May 10 2022
4

A really bold change of style with some incredibly catchy hooks and a strong message. The first 2/3 or so is amazing but it does fizzle out slightly towards the end

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Tue May 10 2022
4

ABSOLUTE BOP CITY

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Tue May 10 2022
4

Well this was a bit different from the other PJ albums. It's moody and floaty and eerie, but so cool and inventive and PJ goes hard on every song. Loved it

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Fri May 13 2022
4

Very cool, but I didn't like it as the other one of this list.

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Fri May 20 2022
4

Nije mi favorit ali je i dalje jako dobar

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Sat May 21 2022
4

PJ est de loin la personne ayant fait les progrès les plus visibles sur le générateur. Après un premier album catastrophique sanctionné d'un 1, elle revint avec une nouvelle proposition couronnée d'un 3. Pour continuer sur cette lancée, je suis très content d'accorder un 4 à Let England Shake.

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Tue May 31 2022
4

This is a very interesting folk album. The music is well composed and the lyrics are complex and cover a variety of themes that are not typically covered in commercial music like war, imperialism and nationalism. I find Harvey's singing to not always be the most enjoyable, seems somewhat common of a lot of folk musicians. Overall a good album, and it goes to show that there is still a place in modern society for good, meaningful folk music that's not just faux old-timey folk sounding pop like a lot of indie-folk outfits. Fav Tracks: The Last Living Rose, The Words That Maketh Murder, In The Dark Places

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Tue May 31 2022
4

This one surprised me, I really enjoyed this listen. The vocals are great, the instrumentation is dramatic and moody, and the lyrics are meaningful, and often political. Reminds me of some spoken-word-esque artists that I really like (Nick Cave, Patti Smith, The National) The production and the recording location of choice being a church really compliment the content throughout this album. There are strings, electronics, percussion, vocal layerings and doubling, so many crafty ways to get just the sound they were looking for. Really good. 4.5/5 Fave tracks: The Glorious Land, On Battleship Hill, England, Bitter Branches

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Fri Jun 03 2022
4

Phenomenal composer! Pleasant to listen to….some tracks are remarkable…

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Sun Jun 05 2022
4

More varied and interesting than the early records and a strong contrast even to Stories. The anger takes on more compelling forms than rage and hollering. PJ actually sings most of the record, and in a sense it’s almost more haunting to hear her voice at lower decibel and more accessible pitch. So many grace notes – the bugle gate-call on “This Glorious Land” – add texture and dimension. “On Battleship Hill” and “Hanging on the Wire” are lovely. The lighter touch makes a bigger impact on this mature minor, masterpiece of a sort. 4.2 for 4.

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Mon Jun 06 2022
4

I love everything PJ Harvey

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Wed Jun 08 2022
4

Interesting & powerful album.

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Wed Jun 29 2022
4

Was good, never heard of her before

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Thu Jul 07 2022
4

Really good.

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Fri Jul 08 2022
4

My only exposure to PJ Harvey was her 1993 Rid of Me which I thought was ok but hated how quiet it was. This album 20 years later is just amazing. I'm a huge fan of the crazy production, her versatile vocals (reminds me of Bjork), expressive lyrics, and folk instrumental structure. It's aesthetically pleasing with tons of unique noises without making it inaccessible, evoking an ethereal atmosphere and ranging from campfire anthemic to emotional and personal. I appreciate it more and more on each listen, blown away by half the tracks, and the other half growing with each listen, but they do blend it at first.

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Sat Jul 16 2022
4

It was uniquely good, but i did not like it

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Tue Jul 19 2022
4

I remember listening to this a little while after it came out and it didn't get anywhere with me. Something clicked about halfway through this time around - I think it's only going to grow on me the more I listen.

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Tue Jul 26 2022
4

4 I think I really liked this. Some songs were really kinda whatever but others had a certain quality to them that I enjoyed. The pace was enough to keep my attention and I always love a good saxophone. The guitars are jangly and pretty. A little unfocused to be higher but I’m definitely a fan of this one. Favorites include: Let England Shake, The Glorious Land, The Words That Maketh Murder, All & Everyone, On Battleship Hill, In The Dark Places, Bitter Branches

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Mon Aug 01 2022
4

J’ai découvert PJ Harvey avec cet album à sa sortie. J’aime beaucoup cet album avec ces arrangements.

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Mon Aug 01 2022
4

Excellent, différent, authentique. Par contre, on cherche souvent quelque chose à quoi s’accrocher et on oublie rapidement ce qu’on vient d’entendre.

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Fri Aug 05 2022
4

Love this album. The lyrics are really powerful and her arrangements are absolutely gorgeous. One of PJ Harvey's best works in my eyes.

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Tue Aug 09 2022
4

OK Polly, you did it. You wore me down. Have your four star album.

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Sat Aug 20 2022
4

Really like it- kinda chill and grungy? Think it’s one I need to spend more time with to really catch the brilliance

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Sat Aug 27 2022
4

Like The Kinks “Arthur”, “Let England Shake” is an artist’s exploration of their relationship with England, their country of birth, and the battles it has fought. “Let England Shake” is a decidedly darker affair, aiming some of its focus on Gallipoli, where 30,000 English soldiers died in a brutal battle during World War I. Harvey’s songs here are often ghostly and strikingly minimalist in their instrumentation. The record’s stark black and white cover compliments its sound perfectly. Let England Shake is an ambitious concept record, one that I suspect will take me a few more listens to fully digest.

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Mon Aug 29 2022
4

Really enjoyed this. Only put 4 stars because there were some stinkers in the mix, but for the most part thought it was pleasant to listen to.

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Tue Aug 30 2022
4

I’m a big fan of Polly’s, but I obviously did not give this much of a listen when I bought it. I was taken aback by the high-pitched voice and I think it got filed away pretty quickly. What a big mistake. I now can’t stop playing it. It ticks a lot of boxes - particularly the length of most of the trax - 5 are 3 minutes or under & only 2 only 2 are longer than 4 minutes. Takes me back to the late 70’s. The stories in the songs are heartfelt and the music is as original as you’d expect from her - possibly a bit to do with Mick Harvey’s involvement. Special mention to the native American drums & cavalry charge bugle in The Glorious Land and the nod to Eddie Cochran’s Summertime Blues in The Words That Maketh Murder. I saw her at the Horden earlier this century - so good live. And rarely fails on disc. Loved this.

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Wed Sep 07 2022
4

If you want to listen to some birthday party bangers, I wouldn't go for this album. Eery chords, high pitched voice and very into your face. The first World War is an intriguing subject and she has definitely dived into it. High rating because of the artistic and historic value, but not an album I'll put into my high rotation.

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Sat Sep 10 2022
4

I like PJ Harvey for her spirit and talent. Good listening

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Tue Sep 20 2022
4

Ok, finally, music for British people and not just by British people. It's interesting but a bit too weird.

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Sat Sep 24 2022
4

Great record overall. The vocals are beautiful, the guitars are great, and the lyrics are so poetic. I really enjoyed this record from start to finish, its very comprehensive and a very easy listen. However the lyrics can be more than just an easy listen, they're fairly dark and profound at points. Favorite Track: All And Everyone Least Favorite Track: The Colour of the Earth

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Mon Sep 26 2022
4

Positively surprised by this record, way better than what my original expectations were

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Tue Oct 11 2022
4

Alternative and Singer songwriter vibes

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Mon Oct 24 2022
4

Harvey writes a modern protest album without sacrificing who she is as an artist. Loud, unique and bold in a lot of places it’s standard non-conforming time signatures coupled with an interesting choices of autoharps as the main backing.

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Sat Oct 29 2022
4

A little eclectic, a little out there but also haunting and lovely

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Mon Oct 31 2022
4

Pretty, pretty good

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Thu Nov 03 2022
4

Många fina och bra låtar. Bara hört en av dessa tidigare. Positivt överraskad.

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Tue Nov 08 2022
4

La PJ Harvey madura que comença amb 'White Chalk' és molt diferent però igual d'encisadora que la Harvey més provocativa i experimental dels inicis. A finals de 2022, 'Let England Shake' és el millor àlbum d'aquesta etapa. Un cant a l'antibelicisme amb unes composicions, una veu, uns arranjaments i unes lletres que estan entre el millor d'aquells anys

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Wed Nov 09 2022
4

Pretty cool female nick cave+mazzy star+bjork 7/10

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Mon Nov 21 2022
4

this was really good, i love the recurring motifs and the simple lyrics, works really well

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Tue Nov 22 2022
4

Wow. It’s like it’s a completely different artist named PJ Harvey writing a WWI-themed album. This thing could be the soundtrack to a horrors-of-war documentary and I would not mind at all. Also, that high soprano *swoon*

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Tue Nov 29 2022
4

This is sort of a strange album for me to get on the heels of The Kinks's Preservation Society album. There, The Kinks were focused on the little aspects of British life that the liked and thought were worth saving. Here, Harvey focuses on the darkness of British history and violence that built the British empire. This album is deep and emotionally resonant. The music is all well executed despite the fact that Harvey departed from the style of her previous albums during this work. 4/5 Really cool work, and one of the seminal anti-war albums released during my lifetime

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Tue Jan 05 2021
3

1/4 Cool modern folk album. Standout Tracks: The Words That Maketh Murder, On Battleship Hill

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Fri Jan 08 2021
3

Pretty interesting album, enjoyed it much more the second time around

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Wed Jan 13 2021
3

Y

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Tue Mar 30 2021
3

Decent albums, not as wannabe different than her previous one from the 90s however still with an edge. Ultimately though not enough standout songs to warrant a 4

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Wed Jan 13 2021
3

good music but not really my daily listen type

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Wed Jan 13 2021
3

Lyrics are hard to understand

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Mon Feb 15 2021
3

Need to listen again. A bit bellyesque. Some sloppy time signatures in there though

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Mon Apr 12 2021
3

Eh

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Sat Apr 17 2021
3

Average album, annoying at parts

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Wed Jan 13 2021
3

Very English. Revisit when in a Billy Bragg mood.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
3

I preferred her earlier work

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Tue Mar 30 2021
3

2.75. There was one or 2 songs that were enjoyable. But couldn't get into it. Music was good, but nothing blew me out of the water

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Wed Jan 13 2021
3

Rock album. Not bad, wouldn't listen to it again.

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Tue Mar 23 2021
3

PJ is one of those artists I want to like so much...

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Sun May 23 2021
3

Not bad. But music that did not get me rightaway.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
3

The songs themselves are good. The instrumentals can be a bit weird at times which is ok but not my thing. Where this album shines for me is the vocals, her voice is amazing. At times it has a haunting feel I couldn't get over how great they sound.

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Sat Jan 23 2021
3

Not my bag at all, but I can respect it.

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Fri Feb 19 2021
3

I like her voice. Musically it’s ok. I suspect it’s mainly a lyrical success but I haven’t closely listened.

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Sat Jun 12 2021
3

i like PJ, but this one kinda missed me. the first track that made me turn and look to see what it was...was the first one that played after the album was finished.

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Mon May 31 2021
3

Melodic folk punk pop grooves

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Fri Jan 15 2021
3

Not my typical genre. Very interesting sound. Sorta mix between 90s female grungey sound with a splash of bluegrassy sound? Hard to pinpoint but enjoyable none the less. "On Battleship Hill" she HITS it. Cool song and flow. A handful of sprinkling of surprise instrument fills heard throughout. I didn't listen to the lyrics closely but overall I enjoyed this quite a bit. Would like to relisten with attention given to the lyrics.

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Thu Jan 21 2021
3

Pj harvey baska sarkilarini severim ama bu album gecmedi bana

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Tue Mar 30 2021
3

Again, amazing musician, but her songs after 2 decades still come off a bit forced. But not a bad album.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
3

Not my cup of tea, but I can hear the depth.

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Sat Feb 13 2021
3

3.5*. not a bad album just not my taste. a good sound but like i said not my taste...

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Tue Jun 15 2021
3

So damn boring. 5

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Sat Jan 23 2021
3

Álbum bem psicodélico.

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Tue Jun 15 2021
3

6/10. Sounded fine, just wasn't too interesting to me. Kinda like all the other PJ Harvey albums I've heard.

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Wed Jun 16 2021
3

I remember a huge buzz about this at the time and I was non-plussed at the time. Still am really... its fine...

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Wed Jun 09 2021
3

Some good tracks. Added one to my liked songs.

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Mon Jan 25 2021
3

-

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