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Let England Shake (Plus Videos)

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PJ Harvey followed her ghostly collection of ballads, White Chalk, with Let England Shake, a set of songs strikingly different from what came before it except in its Englishness. White Chalk's haunted piano ballads seemed to emanate from an isolated manse on a moor, but here Harvey chronicles her relationship with her homeland through songs revolving around war. Throughout the album, she subverts the concept of the anthem — a love song to one’s country — exploring the forces that shape nations and people. This isn’t the first time Harvey has been inspired by a place, or even by England: she sang the praises of New York City and her home county of Dorset on Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea. Harvey recorded this album in Dorset, so the setting couldn’t be more personal, or more English. Yet she and her longtime collaborators John Parish, Mick Harvey, and Flood travel to the Turkish battleground of Gallipoli for several of Let England Shake's songs, touching on the disastrous World War I naval strike that left more than 30,000 English soldiers dead. Her musical allusions are just as fascinating and pointed: the title track sets seemingly cavalier lyrics like “Let’s head out to the fountain of death and splash about” to a xylophone melody borrowed from the Four Lads’ “Istanbul (Not Constantinople),” a mischievous echo of the questions of national identity Harvey sets forth in the rest of the album (that she debuted the song by performing it on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show for then-Prime Minster Gordon Brown just adds to its mischief). “The Words That Maketh Murder” culminates its grisly playground/battleground chant with a nod to Eddie Cochran's anthem for disenfranchised ‘50s teens “Summertime Blues,” while “Written on the Forehead” samples Niney's “Blood and Fire” to equally sorrowful and joyful effect. As conceptually and contextually bold as Let England Shake is, it features some of Harvey's softest-sounding music. She continues to sing in the upper register that made White Chalk so divisive for her fans, but it’s tempered by airy production and eclectic arrangements — fittingly for such a martial album, brass is a major motif — that sometimes disguise how angry and mournful many of these songs are. “The Last Living Rose” recalls Harvey's Dry-era sound in its simplicity and finds weary beauty even in her homeland’s “grey, damp filthiness of ages,” but on “England,” she wails, “You leave a taste/A bitter one.” In its own way, Let England Shake may be even more singular and unsettling than White Chalk was, and its complexities make it one of Harvey’s most cleverly crafted works. [Let England Shake was also released on LP.]


tiefe Musik

Eine tolle Scheibe (dazu für 1€ plus mit 2 Videos), wieder musikalisch breit, textlich super und weg vom Klavierexperiment der letzten Scheibe (auch toll), eine meiner liebsten Interpretinnen!


Geboren: 09. Oktober 1969 in Yeovil, England

Genre: Rock

Jahre aktiv: '90s, '00s, '10s

Während der frühen ‘90er Jahre erlangten viele weibliche Sängerinnen/Songwriterinnen Berühmtheit, aber nur wenige davon waren so anders und wurden so hoch gelobt wie Polly Jean Harvey. Harvey etablierte sich als eine der individuellsten und einflussreichsten Songschreiberinnen der ‘90er Jahre – und zwar durch Themen wie Sex, Liebe und Religion in Kombination mit nervenaufreibender Ehrlichkeit, schwarzem Humor und einer verschrobenen Theatralik. Zu Beginn ihrer Karriere leitete sie das Trio PJ Harvey,...
Komplette Biografie