Let England Shake

PJ Harvey’s latest album was released on 14 February. I finally got round to getting hold of a copy a couple of weeks ago.

When it was released I saw her perform a few tracks on the TV – and I felt a little lukewarm towards them. Then I watched a video of “The last living rose” on the web a few times and went out and bought the album.

After playing it a few times I can’t stop listening to it. Its constantly in the CD player at home and in the car. Every single track is brilliant.

It’s a “concept” album, in that the songs are inspired by her response to war. Apparently she was initially inspired by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, but a number of the tracks were clearly influenced by the First World War – three of them make reference to the Gallipoli campaign.

The tunes are based on relatively simple chord progressions played on guitar or autoharp but they really grab you by the throat after a few plays.

A series of videos has been shot by Seamus Murphy, principally known as a photographer who has worked in Afghanistan, Syria, Ethiopia, Mexico and various other dangerous places.


I think the Guardian review just about sums up my feelings.


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