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Let England Shake CD

124 customer reviews

Price: £3.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Music

Image of album by PJ Harvey

Photos

Image of PJ Harvey

Biography

“Take me back to England
& the grey, damp filthiness of ages
fog rolling down behind the mountains
& on the graveyards, and dead sea-captains.”
PJ Harvey, The Last Living Rose

PJ Harvey’s new album was recorded in a 19th Century church in Dorset, on a cliff-top overlooking the sea. It was created with a cast of musicians including such long-standing ... Read more in Amazon's PJ Harvey Store

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Frequently Bought Together

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Feb. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Universal / Island
  • ASIN: B004IXJEWK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,672 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Let England Shake 3:09£0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. The Last Living Rose 2:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. The Glorious Land 3:34£0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. The Words That Maketh Murder 3:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. All And Everyone 5:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. On Battleship Hill 4:07£0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. England 3:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. In The Dark Places 2:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Bitter Branches 2:29£0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Hanging On The Wire 2:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Written On The Forehead 3:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
12. The Colour Of The Earth 2:33£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake was recorded in a 19th Century church in Dorset, on a clifftop overlooking the sea. It was created with a cast of musicians including such long-standing allies as Flood, John Parish, and Mick Harvey. It is the eighth PJ Harvey album, following 2007’s acclaimed White Chalk, and the Harvey/Parish collaboration A Woman A Man Walked By. Let England Shake evokes the troubled spirit of 2010, but it also casts its mind back to times and places from our long collective memory. In keeping with such imaginative intentions, its music has a rare breadth and emotional power. Nearly two decades after she made her first records, it proves that not just that its author refuses to stand still, but that her creative confidence may well be at an all-time high. It is safe to say that you will not have heard anything like it before.

10 years after her album Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea scooped the Mercury Music Prize, PJ Harvey became the first artist to win it twice when Let England Shake was also awarded the prestigious prize in 2011.

BBC Review

The title of Polly Harvey’s seventh album, 2007’s White Chalk, seemed to address England’s psycho-geography by way of Dover’s iconic coastline. Perhaps that’s projection. But her eighth most definitely does. It’s a concept album, folks. Songtitles include The Last Living Rose, England and The Glorious Land, with a distinct whiff of landscape and legend. A fragile Hanging in the Wire even namechecks "the white hills of Dover". Pete Doherty doesn’t have a copyright on singing about Albion, you know.

Going by her latest photos, Harvey’s position as the alternative Lady Gaga, confounding expectations and changing hair styles at each turn, remains undiminished. This time, the black gown and headpiece screams Hel, the Norse God of the dead. And when you read the lyric sheet, death fair stares you in the face. Its first words are "Let England shake / Weighed down with silent dead"; The Last Living Rose sings of "the grey damp filthiness of ages," and it turns out "the glorious fruit of our land" is "orphaned children". Add various references – Battleship Hill, Bolton Ridge, the Anzac trench – to the disastrous Allied invasion of Galipoli, Turkey in World War One and we appear to have a psycho-geographic lament around the perils of colonialism and the ravages of war that resonate right up to the present.

As a backdrop to this brutal battlefield, Harvey has shifted from White Chalk’s gaunt piano ballads to a broader sound that is no less feverish and close to the bone. Imagine a minimalist take on her debut album Dry’s folk-blues tilt, all urgent and wiry rhythm. It’s recorded mostly live with multi-instrumental support from the long-serving John Parrish and (former Bad Seed) Mick Harvey. But there are subtle additions; the signature horse’n’ hounds bugle leading the hunt is woven into a shifty The Glorious Land, the Bulgarian women’s choral wail (shouldn’t that be Turkish?) on the otherwise skeletal England. There is a playful reference to Eddie Cochran’s Summertime Blues via "what if I take my troubles to the United Nations?" into a skiffle-shaped The Words That Maketh Murder; but this is categorically a sad, despairing album. It ends with The Colour of the Earth, where a host of male voices (including the band) and Polly recall a soldier cut down in action and now "nothing but a pile of bones".

Ah, Earth, so much to answer for. But thankfully we have PJ with another fearsomely creative, emotional record to lead the resistance. God bless unique, unfathomable, great Queen Polly.

--Martin Aston

Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 14 Feb. 2011
Format: Audio CD
I've had my doubts about some of PJ Harvey's work since Is This Desire, although I have never doubted she had lost any of her immense talent. As if to confirm this Let England Shake is quite simply a great album by any standards. Most of the attention from reviewers has so far centred on the lyrical content and indeed this is most impressive. The twin themes of her ambivalent relationship with England and the destructive cost of war run and intertwine throughout the album. Apparently PJ did a great deal of research before writing these songs; in the very best way this is something that does not show, these are not intellectual or preachy songs. Instead we have a highly individual and considered response to important issues. By looking outwards she has written some of the most resonant and moving lyrics of her career.
Of course for all that PJ is not a poet and without music to match this would not be a great album. The music is actually quite difficult to describe as it sounds unlike anything she has recorded before and yet entirely like her. Looser than usual, it is more melodious than she has allowed herself to be in the past, and at times with it's strummed autoharp and guitars it could almost be described as folk-rock (at times the feel of this record is also similar to The Velvet's third album as a guide). PJ's voice retains much of the higher range debuted on White Chalk but is richer than on that record. There are no weak tracks here but the standout for me is the central section of All & Everyone, Battleship Hill and England, it is quite simply as beautiful a run of three songs as I can remember.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sussex by the Sea VINE VOICE on 21 Feb. 2013
Format: Audio CD
Every song on this album is a war story, usually sung from the point of view of a protagonist. Some of the stories mention known events (Gallipoli is in several songs) while others are from the general viewpoint of a soldier serving at the front. Most fit easily into a Great War frame of reference, while some could depict examples of partisan movements and more recent conflicts.

What makes the record so effective is the voice used: the tone of both the lyrics and the singing conveys the lives of the combatants as if the singer were a ghost floating over the old battlefields, briefly wakening the dead. Individual stories are brought to life for a few minutes, usually with a focus on a single emotion for each song, and the effect is strongly moving. The music is mostly fairly simple with a strong melody; snatches of lyrics and music from other records visit occasionally adding a layer of often darkly comic humour.

To say this is an anti-war album is to perhaps miss the point; it depicts the brutality and violence of war without flinching, but it is clearly a record on the side of the individuals who fought in the wars, and English individuals at that. Anyone with an interest in the history of English/British or ANZAC conflicts of the past two hundred years will find this a very emotional set of songs, and a moving tribute to those whom circumstances forced to fight.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ilovemycat on 28 Feb. 2014
Format: Audio CD
I pretty much ignored all of PJ Harvey's career while I was growing up (there are only so many bands you have time to listen to after all) but as I reach my own mid-thirties I've tried to open myself up to new music more. I found this on youtube, had a listen, and immediately ordered the CD. It was so good I was practically floored. Dark and bleak, it's a bitter celebration of England and its bloody history. These songs are so good they just won't let you go. I knew PJ Harvey was a good songwriter, but I didn't she was this good. From now I'll be going back through her entire career, one album at a time. This album is just majestic. Everyone should own it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kaan Sensoy on 8 Jan. 2014
Format: Audio CD
As one of the best albums ever made, Let England Shake is one great and perfect example of what a concept album should be like. Working on it for 2,5 years Harvey released a timeless classic, one of the music's most daring, experimental and original records ever. No doubt she was a brilliant artist and she's my all-time favorite musician but Let England Shake took her craft in songwriting to a new higher maybe the highest level.

While still Is This Desire? is my favorite record of her, Let England Shake comes as a close second. This is an album every individual should experience whether you like her or not. And if you get hung up on the politics (which she doesn't use any protest remarks) or England's history, well it's a shame, I'll feel sad for you. You're just gonna be awe and thinking "how much more brilliant can this woman get?!" Don't miss out this masterpiece that made this woman won the Mercury Prize for the second time. And it shows how it's not about gender, it's about brilliance (I hate it when they use the term "the first woman to win...".

Let England Shake is a poetic, epic and an earthly work of art and I've been listening to it for two years. Favorite tracks? Tons! All and Everyone, On Battleship Hill, The Glorious Land, England, The Words That Maketh Murder and Hanging in the Wire. 11/10. (Hate to do that but yeah!)
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