All the press frenzy about PJ Harvey’s 8th album, Let England Shake (Vagrant), some supportive and some disparaging, seems to recognize that what we are dealing with here is certainly a major release for 2011. The more extreme the reviews have gone either way (and they have been extreme: a 10/10 from the NME for example, their first for several years), the more they seem to have tacitly agreed that PJ Harvey is one of the most important artists on the UK music scene, and has been for some time.
Perhaps the reason everyone has been so stirred-up by this album has something to do with its scale. Like Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs (our review - the record was a contender for many for album of the year in 2010), “Let England Shake” is for better or worse a collection with a clear, unified vision. It is that so rare and frail a thing: a real album.
To read the rest of my review, click here.