I hadn't listened to PJ Harvey since the 90's. I was expecting something more aggressive with that punk rock edge. I was surprised by the almost folkloric, tribal, sound, with a melody that is soft and echoes. If you don't listen to the words (& I didn't at first) the album has that haunting beautiful feel. And haunting it is. Harvey sets despair and destruction to a pretty sound, telling the story of war. A powerful album that'll stick with you.
Let England Shake 
‘Polly Jean Harvey was major when she meant to shake the world, a life project she gave up on after releasing her finest album in 2000—much of it set, as must be mere coincidence, in New York City. Creating a suite of well-turned if unnecessarily understated antiwar songs, she's a gifted, strong-willed minor artist bent on shaking England in particular. How much that work enriches anyone's understanding of World War I is open to a debate too niggling to pursue. What's certain is that her special interest in the Great War reflects the changing contours of her chosen chauvinism no less than her evolution from the rough-hewn Howlin Wolf she absorbed in downhome Dorsetshire toward the dulcet clarity of Lancashire's prog-folk Annie Haslam. "I live and die/through England/I live and die/through England"? You said it, lady—twice.’ B+
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