Music

PJ Harvey – Let England Shake!

May 9, 2017

If you’d prefer to listen to the audio version of PJ Harvey – Let England Shake! then you can do so by using the SoundCloud Player at the bottom of the post or by subscribing on iTunes here!

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!

Let England Shake was released in 2011 on Island Records, it was produced by John Harvey, PJ Harvey, Flood and Mick Harvey, the art director was Michelle Henning and the run time is 40:08!

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!

Image Source: https://www.discogs.com/PJ-Harvey-Let-England-Shake/release/2735856

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.

Image Source: https://www.discogs.com/PJ-Harvey-Let-England-Shake/release/2735856

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.

If you have enjoyed this post then don’t forget that you can find others like it by using the tags at the bottom of this post!

If you are feeling generous please consider donating to one of the following charities:

Stick ‘n’ StepThe Alzheimer’s Society or Save The Children 

To find out why you are seeing this message about Charities please click here.

Take care,

Charlotte xo