Sunday, February 20, 2011

Let England Shake Album Review

This is PJ's 11th album. I really dont' know what to expect because she always changes styles between albums. I could have watched the videos of the 12 songs on Youtube, but I really didn't want to spoil the fun. I heard that this album is loosely "based on folk music from around the world" and that it "doesn't contain the Rockish Edge" that we usually associate with PJ. Anyway, I have high hopes for this album. I'm excited to hear it, but at the same time, I really don't know what to expect. I want it to sound better than White Chalk, but at the same time, I still want to hear more Auto harp centric songs.

As always, I will be doing the track-by-track review as I hear it, so if I don't like someting it might be because I haven't heard it and annalyed it fully.

1.Let England Shake
Guess I get the Auto harp that I wanted to hear. Like the vocal delay on this one so far. Another thing on the Vocals, they sound like a 60's influence. I also hear a saxophone. Is PJ really playing the saxophone? Will this album sound like Automatic Dlamini? The song just ends? Ok.

2.The Last Living Rose
Is this a "Yay England!" song? I don't have anything against it though if it is. More saxophone. This one sounds surprising upbeat & delicate, somewhat airy too. I'm guessing that this "Last Living rose is a metaphor for something. This one just came to a stop too.

3.The Glorious Land
Precession sounds good on this one. Some sampling. I wonder how this is going to turn out. Lyric wise, this has to be the reverse of "The Last Living Rose". Contrasting lyrics from this song to the other, is PJ Saying that "She loves this country, but hates when it is in war?";This might be a possible theme for album. The Refrain/Chorus is quite interesting "Oh America!/Oh England" Two country? This one is coming off as a protest song. Musically, this one sounds like the Cocteau Twins, just listen to the guitar, and vocals. And then it just ended.

4.The Words that Maketh Murder   
Interesting Precision/Auto harp/Opening. Looking at the Lyrics, this is coming off as another anti war protest song, this time it is about the people who fight the war. This one sounds like a familiar song but at the same time, it sounds quite different. "What if I take my Problem To the United Nations?". I wasn't expecting that line in this song, it comes off so quiet.

5.All And Everyone
This is the longest song on the album (5:08). Looking at the Lyrics, I'm guessing that this might be about Wars fought in the past: "Death was everywhere/in the air/and in the sounds/ coming off the mounds of Bolton's Ridge". I guess she is trying that death is on both sides in a war, and we should remember that. "Death Was Everywhere" "Death was in the ancient Fortress," "Death hung in the smoke and clung" "Death to all and everyone. I like how this one comes to a close.

6.On Battleship Hill
This one is starting off quickly, and I think I like it so far! I shouldn't say that it is upbeat, because the lyrics might contrast it (I was right, (1:05)). PJ really hits the high notes on this song. (Oh look, its upbeat again 1:45)). I guess she is decribing Battleship hill after the confict, "80 years later". This song hits the theme of the album pretty well "Cruel nature has won again".  So far, this song is my favorite. The ending wasn't really abrupt.

Another song about England. I wonder what preceptive she is taking this time. This song starts off with some whaling, and some sampled vocal track. I can hear some of her classic vocal delivery bleeding through. The lyrics "I have searched for your springs/but people stanate with time/like water or air" are pretty effective with the contrasting lines "Undanted, never-failing  love for you, England, is all, to which I cling."

8.In the Dark Places
Love the delivery on this one. Looking at the lyrics, it must be about troops that are traveling through the "Dark Places". You can almost hear some of the old PJ coming through.

9.Bitter Branches.
"Bitter Branches" has a good oppening and everythign sounds good so far. I'm guessing that it is another metaphor for something. I guess she making life a "tree" and "war" and "life" and "death" are bitter branches. The ending wasn't that great, but I'm used to that now.

10.Hanging In The Wire
We start off with "Walker" on the battlefield and "Ghosts Hanging in the wire". Very quiet song. I think that this one might be about people who died from land mines "in the wire".

11.Written On The Forehead
I heard this one before the album came out. I remember thinking "What is this? Is this really PJ Harvey? What's wrong with her?" Then I listened to it for a few times, and then I realized that it isn't "that bad. It might sound better with the other songs on the album around it. Now that I'm listening to it for a second time, I think I like it better. I like the imagery from the lyrics "People throw belongings/a lifetimes earrings/amongst the scattered rubbish/and suitcases on the sidewalk." I think the sampling is heavyset on this song. The sampling works on this song. It works with the lyrics, it works with the lyrics, it works with her voice. This song stands out on the album. (Want to hear the song she sampled?)

12.The Colour Of The Earth
This is the most depressing song on this album, it is fitting to close this one out.

This album is stellar. I'm calling this one early, but this might be my favorite album of 2011. Everything just sounds great. I really can't find a weak point in this album. It is more accessible than White Chalk. All the songs are really clear and I think I can listen to this whole album without skipping a song, which really doesn't happen too much. Overall, the album is very light and airy and is refreshing. I highly recommend buying Let England Shake, you won't be disapointed. If you didn't like White Chalk, then you will love Let England Shake.

Friday, February 18, 2011

5 Fun Friday Videos!

Happy Friday everyone. I threw this weeks Friday Five together pretty quickly, but I did finish 2 album reviews and they should be posted by tomorrow.

Tori Amos, Bjork, PJ Harvey and Massive Attack mash-up.This is a pretty cool mix! All of these artists are strong on their own, but they sound even better when put together.

Sonic Youth - Nevermind. Hey look! Thurstons playing a Gibson Les Paul! Most of their stuff was stolen, so that's why. The Picture is kind of messed up on this one. (See Terence and Philip?).

Mika Miko - Wild Bore. I wake up to this song every day. This is an awesome video. I can't jump on a trampliline and play guitar at the same time, this is why its so awesome.

GBH - Boston Babies. I had to switch things up ok?

Scratch Acid- Crazy Dan.

Classic Sleater-Kinney: Echo Lounge Part One - The Day I went away.(Why are they playing this first? Because they went away? Bad jokes over.)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

7 Break up songs for Saturday.

I just went through a break up, so I thought that I would share my top 5 break up songs. These songs are always here for me when people aren't so I thought that this would be a good coping method.

Fugazi-Promises. How could you not like this song?

Husker-Du - Something that I learned today.

Extra! Husker-Du - Don't wanna know if you are lonely. I had to throw this in here too.

Cat Power- Metal Heart. I personally think that this is better than the newer live versions.

Yeah Yeah Yeah's - Maps. Say what you want about them, or the video, but this is recomended listening. Its all in the lyrics!

PJ Harvey - Legs. This is the ULTAMATE Break up song. Valentines day song even. Whatever the occasion, this will make you feel better. Fantastic footage.

Sleater - Kinney - The last song. This is a repost from a previous instament, but it is nessary break up song.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

5 videos on Wednesday

Weather wise, it is worse than last week, 6 inches of snow fell in an 18 hour period, and the temperatures are below freezing! I'm sorry that I'm late in posting again, but the late posts shouldn't happen for another month or two. My wrist feels better this week, so my witty comments!

Bikini Kill wdc 1992. The set list is as follows:Girl Soldier,Hamster Baby,Jigsaw Youth

'Til Tuesday - Voices Carry. I don't usually post Vevo videos, but come on, its 'Til Tuesday! Anyway, did anyone see last weeks Portlandia with Amy Mann? The music is good, but that guy is over reacting. A lot.

LiLiPUT - Boatsong

Siouxsie & The Banshees - Metal Postcard

Heavens to Betsy - Terrorist. Expect an album review soon!

Clasic Sleater Kinney! I'm going to save the good stuff for Friday, but until now, enjoy Surf Song. (I didn't think that this song existed! I'm glad someone posted it.)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Frozen Tuesday 5.

Nice to get a post in on a Tuesday, I spent another weekend Debating and because it was a two day meet (Friday and Saturday) I couldn't do my normal posting. I have tomorrow and off because of the bad weather (the wind chill is -22 degrees outside!), so I thought that it would be a good time to post. I sprained my right wrist really bad, so I'm going to keep my comments to a minimum.

Sonic Youth - I Love You Golden Blue 6/3/2005. This video only has 1,693 views. I'm not sure why, but this is a amazing live version.

Extra:Skink Live in Germany '96.

PJ Harvey - Long Time Coming. This is the b-side to Send His Love to Me. Hopefully, PJ will release a b-side album soon.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Graveyard

Fugazi - Epic Problem. This is an Epic Song. Especially the break-down

Extra! Guy Picciotto upside down. You don't know how awesome this is.

Classic Sleater Kinney: Words and Guitar & Stay Where You are from Songs for Cassavetes. The film is shot in this "indie film" black and white lens, but the interview at the end makes up for everything else. (Btw, if I found that Time Magazine article if you want to read it)