Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Most of the albums that I've been writing about as my favorite 10 albums of 2011 are pretty enjoyable.  That's not really the case with PJ Harvey's Let England Shake.  It's an album haunted by the ghosts of war, specifically those from England from World War I.

And yet somehow it seems very much of it's time, 2011.  I'm not British, but it seems to capture the uneasiness of our time, the angst people are feeling.

When I first heard the album, I wrote that I don't always like Ms. Harvey's albums. But it's always interesting to see what she'll do next. She never lets herself be a prisoner of her past, and she always challenges herself. I think that's one of the reasons why she gets so much respect:  Let England Shake won Britain's prestigious Mercury Music Prize (she's the first artist to win it twice, the first time being for Stories From City, Stories From The Sea). It was also named album of the year in UK magazines Mojo and Uncut (it came in towards the bottom of Rolling Stone's top 50).

When PJ Harvey first hit the scene with Dry in 1992, she reminded me a bit of Kurt Cobain.  To think that she has evolved so much since then is stunning, and I can't wait to hear what she'll do next.

No comments: