PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
While I'm only familiar with maybe two albums of her early work, I often feel alone in thoroughly enjoying the late* PJ Harvey. I frequently return to Stories From the City..., and I thought White Chalk was an interesting departure, but To Bring You My Love failed to draw me in for return listens.
England seems in ways to merge the lo-fi sounds of her earlier albums with the songwriting of the later ones. Harvey retains the upper register vocals from White Chalk, which are not preferable to her assertive voice. Harvey sounds like an elderly woman narrating stories of her youth from her rocking chair on the porch. Perhaps this is what she had intended (having stated that she required a more narrative approach for the songs) but isn't most flattering. Musically, England is positive and quickly placed, each song moving with the drive and rhythm of a freight train on the countryside. The Colour of the Earth ends a little awkwardly, sounding as if there's more to come instead of wrapping things up neatly.
I was not particularly grasped by this. I think she's written better albums, and while I appreciate the positive tone and the rhythm of Let England Shake, I didn't find it particularly memorable. I like to see artists go for changes in their styles, but simply put, PJ Harvey has written better.
* As in late work, not as in deceased.