Review: PJ Harvey – Let England Shake

I have always enjoyed PJ Harvey’s raw musical stylings and voice. Her lyrics would demonstrate human emotions in all their splendor and horror and her voice was strong enough to plow through all the heartache and sufferings of this world. She would make everything alright.

On Let England Shake, she has gone political. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially with the current state of things in this world. All the lyrics have something to do with England’s dire situations but they can be applied to any nation. With this change in songwriting comes a change in her style. She has abandoned her raw, gritty tones for something much more melancholy. Her voice is still as amazing as ever but now it is even more beautiful. Her songs are still dark and morbid like before but she has morphed her music to better represent the subject matter. Instead of working up the listener into an angered frenzy about past lovers she is now stirring up our hearts into an angered frenzy about what this world has turned into.

Let England Shake is a patriot’s lament about the country they are proud to call home. It takes a lot to completely wipe away a person’s pride for their nation, but that doesn’t mean they are completely happy. PJ Harvey has taken on the role of a modern-day Martin Luther of sorts, posting 12 theses on the door of 10 Downing Street, saying, “We are not happy and here’s a few reasons why.”

Standout Track: England
Rating: 4.5 stars