This post is the twentieth post of my new series based on the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery.
In this series I’m going to be looking through the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and commenting on the albums featured, telling you about albums I think should have been featured, artists that should have been featured too and just anything else I feel like commenting on!
This isn’t a sponsored series but if you’d like to read the book with me I’ll put a link at the bottom of this post to where you can buy it. This series is just something I wanted to do because I’d been reading the book and found that I had a lot of opinions!
Every Tuesday and Thursday I’m going to take one album from the front of the book starting in 1950s and one album from the back of the book starting in 2000’s, I’ll give you a bit of the albums history, the track list and of course my thoughts on the album!
In this post we’re going to be talking about PJ Harvey – Let England Shake!
As this album is available on Spotify I’ll put a player below this paragraph so that if you’d like to listen along whilst you read the rest of this post you can!
PJ Harvey, is an English musician, singer-songwriter, writer, poet, and composer. Let England Shake is her 8th studio album, it was written over a period of around three years and was recorded in just 5 weeks in a church in PJ Harvey’s hometown of Dorset.
This album was declared to be album of the year (2011) by a number of reputable publications and also went on to win a Mercury Prize, the second Mercury Prize of PJ Harvey’s career and her 4th nomination!
PJ Harvey has cited a number of influences for this album including poetry by T.S Elliot and art by Salvador Dali, the book also hints at the fact that her experience in 2001 in Washington D.C watching the Pentagon burning from her hotel was an influence and Wikipedia states (yes, I know) that she also did a lot of research into and read a lot of memoirs and testimonials from soldiers that had been serving in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as other historical conflicts including The Gallipoli Campaign from the first world war.
I always find PJ Harvey albums to be quite self-explorative and I guess introverted but this album to me is more extroverted and more about the world around her and us too. This is also one of, if not the only PJ Harvey album that doesn’t feature her on the cover.
Let’s take a look at the mercury prize winning track list!
Track One: Let England Shake
Track Two: The Last Living Rose
Track Three: The Glorious Land
Track Four: The Words That Maketh Murder
Track Five: All & Everyone
Track Six: On Battleship Hill
Track Seven: England
Track Eight: In The Dark Places
Track Nine: Bitter Branches
Track Ten: Hanging On The Wire
Track Eleven: Written On The Forehead
Track Twelve: The Colours Of The Earth
If I absolutely had to pick ONE track from this album as my favourite I would say Let England Shake, but honestly this entire album is fantastic.
The only thing left for me to say is whether or not I think this album belongs on the list of 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and my answer is absolutely yes!
But fare warning, if you haven’t listened to PJ Harvey before she has a very addictive sound that will leave you wanting to listen to everything she has ever made, or at least that’s what happened to me a few years ago when I first discovered her.
This album deserves its place on the list though because it’s an incredible piece of art wrapped up in a glorious album.
That’s it for this post from my new series based on the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die! As I said at the beginning of this post this isn’t in anyway a sponsored series but if you’d like to buy the book so you can read along with me then click here for the link to purchase from Waterstones if you live in the UK and click here for the Amazon link if you’re in the rest of the world.
Those aren’t affiliate links; I just want to make sure you guys know where to buy the book if you want to read along too!
Here is the audio version of this post on SoundCloud.
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