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White Chalk [VINYL] Maxi, Import


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Music

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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

Visit Amazon's PJ Harvey Store
for 36 albums, 30 photos, discussions, and more.

Product details

  • Vinyl
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Maxi, Import
  • Label: Import
  • ASIN: B003062NFQ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mr Booja Booja on 4 Jan 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As other reviewers have said, this is a melancholy affair from start to finish (although that description cetainly doesn't do it justice). It might take a few listens for you to get truly drawn into it but my experience was that it's heart wrenchingly delicate and wonderfully raw at the same time.

If you want to get an idea of what it sounds like before you buy, I'd say a cross between Philip Glass, the melancholic side of Grandaddy, the Pretenders, Lou Barlow, Ava Adore era Smashing Pumpkins and PJ Harvey of course. Actually now I've written that, the comparison seem silly - the album is so much more than that - but I'll leave it there in case it's helpful to anyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amillionmiles on 2 Dec 2012
Format: Audio CD
PJ Harvey has been creating music for some time now and consistently releasing new material every few years. Three years on from "Uh Huh Her", PJ brings us "White Chalk", her eighth studio album. It is quite different from her previous albums at it has minimal instrumentation, is much more piano and vocal led and is very haunting.

With its manic and repetitious piano rhythm, the opening song "The Devil" is aptly titled and has a sombre vocal which makes this song even more disturbing. The creative and melancholic "Dear Darkness" has a gentle Folk quality to it whilst "Grow Grow Grow" combines the overall feel of the two first tracks to create another haunting composition. "When Under Ether" is more constructed and mellow but still very dark. The title track "White Chalk" has a much stronger Country Folk influence than the other songs and is well crafted. "Broken Harp" is a quiet vocal track with a bittersweet melody. "Silence" has chaotic vocal harmonies which make PJ sound like a woman possessed, but they seem to add clarity to the melody and it ends up being by far my favorite song on here. "To Talk To You" is very eerily evocative with drawn out vocal phrasing and that crazed piano note serving as the songs only rhythm. The following song "The Piano" has very disturbing lyrics (the opening line is "Hit Her With A Hammer"!) and adds to the weirdness of this release. "Before Departure" is a peaceful and mellow song amidst the chaos and anger whilst the final song "The Mountain" takes us back to the ghost-like Goth inspired overall vibe of "White Chalk" with manic piano chords and deep vocal humming combined with witch-like screaming. What a way to end on album...

"White Chalk" takes PJ Harvey to another level of strange and disturbing.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By The Wolf TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Mar 2008
Format: Audio CD
"A voice comes to one in the dark.
Imagine."

Samuel Beckett (Company 1980).

....and here we have the voice of Polly Harvey. Stripped Bare.

Like the old woman in the rocking chair in Beckett's 'Rockaby';
alone listening to the cracked sound of her own voice.
Memory. Longing. Loss. Hope. Futility.

This is indeed a dark place but a place without artifice. The intimacy
at times almost unbearable.

These 11 songs are an extraordinary addition to Ms Harvey's canon.
Compressed, fleeting evocations; almost suffocating at times in their intensity.

The mood of the album is sustained throughout without respite.

Simple piano/guitar accompaniment, supported by uncluttered additional
instrumentation and vocals. The production unintrusive.

'Dear Darkness', 'When Under the Ether', 'Silence', 'The Piano',
and the superlative 'The Mountain' just some of the highpoints
in a work of claustrophobic genius.

A highpoint in the career of this hugely talented woman.

A small masterpiece indeed.

"And how better in the end labour lost and silence.
And you as you always were.

Alone".

Samuel Beckett (Company 1980).
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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful By G. Thomas VINE VOICE on 25 Sep 2007
Format: Audio CD
Finally, four albums later, I'm enthralled by the wonderous P.J. Harvey once more.
I thought her special brand of genius had been dulled but White Chalk is a return to total form and an utter joy.
Dry, Rid Of Me and Four-Track demos were three of my all time favourites but I haven't truly connected with anything of PJ's since then.
I'm not suggesting the last 4 albums were bad but, for me, they had lost the "edge" I really loved in her music.
Suddenly.....wallop....here is White Chalk. I first heard "When Under Ether" and "The Piano" on the radio without knowing who it was and fell in love with them almost immediately. Totally different and very much "out-there", this is quite a departure and all the better for it.
My joy is rekindled.

This album is exceptional.

I'm so very pleased :)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Riccardo Finozzi on 13 Feb 2010
Format: Audio CD
With "White Chalk" PJ Harvey radically changes her style, turning to a quieter, more intimate atmosphere yet the power, the anguish and the intensity are still there with her talent. Songs like Grow Grow Grow and White Chalk itself are amongst her best ever.
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Format: Audio CD
Upon listening to this album in 2007, when it first came out, I immediately realized that there was something special about it, and thought it would continue to speak to me year in and year out. Some time has elapsed, and I can say that my prediction has held true thus far. White Chalk is a jewel, one of those rare works of art that transcend genre and give voice to emotion with impeccable intellectual honesty.

PJ Harvey delivers a collection of eleven perfect tracks, which combine to form a moving, if mysterious, story of abandonment and sorrow, of gloom and doom. Whereas the overall narrative may be elusive -- it's hard to say whether the premise is the loss of a child and subsequent departure of a companion, the demise of one parent and folly of the other as witnessed by a young girl powerless to keep disaster at bay, betrayal and heartbreak, or none/all of the above -- one track passes the torch to the next, creating a seamless succession of scenes. These are without doubt pages ripped out of the same book, where cohesion and absolute integrity are used to good effect.

With commendable lyricism, mastery of the language worthy of the best poets, brevity both beautiful and intense, PJ Harvey depicts a journey not from here to there, but from one state of despair to another. Half ghost town in the West, half heath in Dorset, this is a lonely place, yet one many adults will inhabit sooner or later. The mood is dark, but also uniquely epic (not dissimilar to some passages of Britten's The Turn of the Screw, although the comparison may seem far-fetched to some).
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