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Just wrapped up my 5th listening. Can't say I wasn't surprised that Polly has changed the game all over again. Let England Shake should go down as not only one of her greatest records, but one of the all-time greats. The music is so relevant to the times we live. No one is making music with this kind of honesty and bare-knuckle emotion. I hope this records goes to #1 on the charts. A Huge statement from one of the greatest recording artist of our time. WOW.
I was digging up old scores and here's what I found. Hard to believe I've never given Harvey anything less than an 8. I looked closely at the rest of my reviews and could only find 1 other band with more than 5 releases that hold a similar status: The Velvet Underground
Dry - 8.5/10
Rid Of Me 8.2/10
To Bring You My Love 9.1/10
Is This Desire 8.0/10
Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea 9.3/10
Uh Huh Her- 8.4/10
White Chalk- 9.6/10
A Woman And A Man Walked By- 8.3/10
Let England Shake -9.9/10
What does everyone else think?
The woman can do no wrong in my eyes
England totally exceeded my expectations. Her performance of the title track with Costantinopla as a sample last year was breathtaking and not something you hear everyday, totally reminded me of Captain Beefheart. I still was afraid i would not like the overall sound, especially when i heard she wrote it in the autoharp and not guitar or piano (also freaked me out back in 2007 and then won me). As usual, Harvey didn't crash and burn, revamped again and there's another masterpiece, easily the most creative female artist of all time and one of the all time greats and a personal top 10 artist. This album needs to go down in history as one of the truly greats of this new decade and yeah, all time. In 20 years of career such raves and creative peaks like these are not normal unless your Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Nick Cave (they were the best couple of music back in the day to me) and a few others. She's out of this world. An album about wars that happened years ago prove positive that the subject still haunts people and still sounds relevant and applicable to this era we're living. This album doesn't sound like anything she or anyone has done. Back in 92 no one would guess what she'd become. She came a long way. She's been everything we could ever think of and what we couldn't. We think she did everything she could do and then another surprise comes out. I personally think It is going to be hard to top this one, but it's what everyone says since Dry came out.
Rid of Me 10/10
To Bring You My Love 10/10
Is This Desire 8/10
Stories From the City, Stories from the Sea 10/10
Uh Huh Her 8/10
White Chalk 10/10
Let England Shake 10/10
4-Track Demos 9/10
Dance Hall at Louse Point 7/10
The Peel Sessions 9/10
A Woman A Man Walked By 8/10
nj still owes me a top 5 PJ Harvey albums on Facebook, it's going to be tough, toughest top 10 yet
PJ Harvey is wedged between Beck and The Flaming Lips in the #4 positions for my top 5 artists of the post-Grunge era. No points for the people who know my top 2.
Rid of Me
To Bring You My Love
Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea
Uh Huh, Her
Is This Desire
haven't heard Let England Shake yet. I like to wait for physical releases for artists I love. I'm sure it'll be fantastic.
Yeah, I'll hear it on Tuesday when it comes out. If it's on Grooveshark or something I could probably hear it, but I know I'm going to buy it, so why bother?
On my all time list:
118) Rid Of Me
178) To Bring You My Love
219) Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea
407) A Woman A Man Walked By
UR) White Chalk
Streaming in its entirety on NPR. Good quality, no worries!
I love this album, not sure if it's better than "Stories from the City", my personal PJ favorite, but still very good. My favorite track is the groovy and crazy "Glorious Nation." PJ has now shown that, unlike some artists, age has not detracted from the quality of her work.
Final Score: 4.5/5
Let England Shake is easily my favorite album of the year so far (not a very big stretch since we're only a month and a half in). Here's my ratings:
Dry - 8.7/10
Rid Of Me - 8.9/10
To Bring You My Love - 9.4/10
Is This Desire - 8.0/10
Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea - 9.6/10
Uh Huh Her - 8.7/10
White Chalk - 9.3/10
A Woman And A Man Walked By - 8.3/10
Let England Shake - 9.5/10
I'm impressed with these 100 level ratings.
Okay...wow. I bought it, and I'm blown away. On my 3rd listen. This album is instantly above Stories From the City and Dry for me. I'm not sure how it relates to Rid of Me and To Bring You My Love. I had just recently lumped PJH in with a list of great artists from the late 90s and early 00s who were no longer nearly as relevant as they once were, and then she releases an album like this...
I'm going with a 9.5 out of box. Genius.
I've listened to Let England Shake, Stories From the City..., and To Bring You My Love for the first time within the last two weeks. I've got to say, Let England Shake is definitely my favorite out of the three. This definitely sets the bar for 2011 thus far.
I've been listening to nothing else the last two days. Yet another masterpiece by PJ Harvey. If The King of Limbs ends up being excellent, I'll have to say I'm satisfied by how the year has been so far (Iron & Wine and James Blake have been growing on me). I'm not even gonna try to rate all of Harvey's albums, but I will relate a funny story: so I was late to the game when it came to PJ Harvey, and at first I wasn't crazy about her. My introduction to her was Stories From the City... and it didn't really do much for me at the time. It was finally a couple years later when I decided to listen to her back catalog as I kept hearing how great she was, and pretty much all of her '90s work blew me away. I tried Stories From the City again and finally got it, and now her entire discography is indispensable for me. She is, personally, the most adventurous and exciting rock musician working today, and it isn't even close. By that I'm taking into account consistency, diversity, and length of career.
Like most artists and groups passed the 37 or 38 year old mark I just assumed her best days were behind her but the 2000s has proved me wrong time and time again starting with the Flaming Lips in 99 (maybe it's because there's a bigger gap between album releases than there used to be. Went from 2 or 3 albums a year in the 60s to two albums every 3 years in the 2000s)Now it just seems like Polly Harvey is becoming the Meryl Streep of rock and roll. She can do no wrong at the rate she's going.
Radiohead has done something truly unique and utterly fascinating. Their best yet? Its amazing too have two amazing albums come out so close to each other. Theres no way the rest of the music this year will be able to keep pace. Im so happy right now!