"Most rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read." - Frank Krappa

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Let England Shake in a wave of over-hype and mediocrity

Two main points here:
a) I don't think PJ Harvey's new album, Let England Shake, is up to much.
b) I also don't like all the rave reviews it got, mainly because of the first point.

I really feel like I must be missing something, and that's why I don't like it, but I still have a little niggle in my head when listening to the album that says (for the most part): "This is not a particularly good song. Her voice sounds annoying. It sounds like she is being stabbed by a vibrating knife. Her first two albums are so, so, so much better. Is she trying to sound like Prussian Blue?" Maybe I just don't understand why this album is so good. Maybe, but I doubt it.

To be honest, I'm not speaking as the most educated connoisseur of PJ Harvey's work. I've only really listened to (and loved) her first two albums, at which point "PJ Harvey" was technically a band, and a few bits and bobs since. Therefore I'm obviously not able to understand this album within the context of her prolific career, as many other reviews have. However, I personally feel that if an album is okay but marks a personal artistic achievement for the creator it doesn't deserve 4 or 5 star reviews everywhere. So there.

Also, the lyrics got hella praise for talking about war. They could be really good lyrics, but (for the most part) I was too busy complaining in my head about how much I didn't like how the songs sounded to bother listening to the lyrics. Personally, how the music sounds is just about more important than the lyrics. If that weren't the case Let England Shake may as well be a book of poems.

It's not all bad though, I very, very much enjoyed several songs towards the end of the album. Here are those songs:

However, four out of twelve songs does not make a 4/5 star album, it makes a (maximum) 3 star album.

Also, it's just not as good as this:

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