pj harvey let england shake album review

Top Albums of 2011 – No. 2: PJ Harvey, ‘Let England Shake’

Who says there are no great protest songs any more!? PJ Harvey proved this year that there is still plenty of room in the music world for a politically charged protest album about the horrors of war – winning the Mercury Prize along the way.

The most striking thing about Let England Shake, though, isn’t the anti-war rhetoric and ‘Arab Spring’ sentiments, but the beautiful and beguiling melodies that frame them and elevate what could have been a cloying ‘rock star takes on the big issues’ album into a brilliantly crafted political pop album.

For this eighth studio album Harvey famously travelled the planets’ various war torn regions for two years, meticulously researching how modern war affects the lives of those involved. The result is an album rich in imagery which doesn’t shy away from revealing the human side to increasingly cold and clinical modern warfare – and one of the most memorable and rewarding albums of the year.

What our review said: “In Let England Shake PJ Harvey turns her visceral and brutally honest song-writing style away from herself and onto the big questions facing humanity in general… In doing so, she has created an album that deserves to be regarded as one of THE classic war albums.”

Key tracks: ‘The Words That Maketh Murder’, ‘England’, ‘Bitter Branches’:

PJ Harvey – ‘Let England Shake’ tracklisting

01. Let England Shake

02. The Last Living Rose

03. The Glorious Land

04. The Words That Maketh Murder

05. All And Everyone

06. On Battleship Hill

07. England

08. In The Dark Places

09. Bitter Branches

10. Hanging On The Wire

11. Written On The Forehead

12. The Colour Of The Earth

Post Author: Luke Glassford

All-Noise was founded in 2010 with just one simple aim – to highlight and celebrate ‘proper music’, made by real people with real musical inspirations.

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