At its core, Let England Shake, the tenth album by English singer-songwriter PJ Harvey, is a protest album in the grand folk tradition. Blunt and brutal imagery is used throughout as she condemns the mental and physical toll of war (WWI, Iraq, and more broadly, human conflict, in general) and the misguided exceptionalism of the men who started those wars. However, once you put aside the lyric sheet, you are transported to a land brimming with uncommon delight — The glittering guitar on “The Glorious Land,” and the operatic vocals on “On Battleship Hill,” are so stark they effectively mask the count of dead, deformed, and orphaned quickly accumulating during the narration of these twelve, dire tracks. This same duality makes that dirty old town depicted in “The Last Living Rose,” a home worth longing for, and enables “Hanging in the Wire,” a duet with long-time collaborator, Mick Harvey, with its warm keyboard tones and quietly assured vocals, to hide its gruesome scene of unburied soldiers. Without its light music, Hanging in the Wire,” and Let England Shake, as a whole, would be too much for any man to take. With its complex soul in tact, however, it offers a sense of hope rarely paired with such grim scenes (Maybe we aren’t cursed to repeat the mistakes of our fathers), and presents itself as an album of such wonder that it can only be deemed as a work of greatness. 9 out of 10 on The Rockometer.
- October 24, 2014
I'm not terribly interested in Thurston Moore's personal life. As a Sonic Youth fan, it sucks that indie rock super couple, Moore and Kim Gordon split. But, I'm not going to get into the blame game, labeling Moore a misogynist pig for ditching Gordon for a younger model. Breakups aren't easy. Breakups are rarely clean. And when a break up involves one of the most admired underground rock bands in history, it only serves to reason that some with no skin in the game will all of a sudden take a personal interest in Moore and Gordon's personal matters. Sonic Youth was a fucking institution for three fucking decades. Yet, to hear Moore tell it, Sonic Youth had started to run its course, too. Read More