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82 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Album For This Or Any Year
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...
Published on 14 Feb. 2011 by Amazon Customer

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3.0 out of 5 stars Let England Shake P.J. Harvey 12" Vinyl Record
Make no bones about it, this is a great album and a different direction for Polly's sound. I wait expectantly for what she comes up with next. My previous favourite Polly L.P. is 'To Bring You My Love.'
My problem with this is the quality control of the records. I am on my second vinyl copy of 'Let England Shake' (the first one had lots of surface marks that affected...
Published 20 months ago by old man with ears


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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Album, 15 Sept. 2011
By 
This review is from: Let England Shake (Audio CD)
I've never really listened to PJ, but after being subjected to all the hype surrounding this album, I decided to give it a listen. If I'm honest, I approached the album with a negative mindset, expecting to dislike it; dismissing it as a popular album given credence by the hype machine.

I am happy to admit I was totally wrong. So wrong in fact that I've listened to it daily over the past couple of weeks.

This is also the first album I can recall where I personally cannot identify any filler tracks. Each song is beautifully contained, often contrasting horrific dialog with sublime melodies. I love the production quality, being reminded more than a couple of times of Siouxsie.

All I can say is: what a fantastic album!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An elegy to the soldiers of the Great War, 21 Feb. 2013
By 
Sussex by the Sea (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Let England Shake (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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5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer brilliance, 8 Jan. 2014
By 
This review is from: Let England Shake (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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4.0 out of 5 stars Very original and well put together, 20 July 2011
By 
Amillionmiles (Hove, East Sussex) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Let England Shake (Audio CD)
I have only recently started to listen to PJ Harvey and find her very intruiging and different, much the same as Tori Amos and Bjork. They have similarities in that they are not frightened to put their own impact on music, are very creative and original, and have been commercially rewarded for that.

"Let England Shake" is quite a dark and sombre album, both lyrically and musically. The highlights for me are "The Glorious Land", "The Words That Maketh Murder" and "Written On The Forehead" which are very powerful indie folk songs and certainly provocative in their delivery. Even though they are quite eerie and have very deep lyrics, they are also very catchy. Another highlight, and by far the eeriest track of all is "On Battleship Hill", with haunting vocals. "Let England Shake", "All And Everyone" and "In The Dark Places" are very good and are also examples PJ's ability to put her message across very effectively, making a statement as she goes along.

My only critism and the sole reason why I have scored 4 stars is that quite a number of the songs are under 3 minutes long and sound more like excerpts of songs or even unfinished which is a shame. Nevertheless, it is a very strong offering and a breath of fresh air in 2011.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Prophetic Album, 25 Mar. 2011
By 
Michael Krug "writerman" (denmark) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Let England Shake (Audio CD)
An outstanding album, arguably her best, most heartfelt, full of insight, regret, anger, pathos, and a shawdowy beauty. And it's important, as we roll off to war again, pushed along by propaganda, and words that murder truth, to stop, for a second, and reflect, before it's too late. It's a mature record, that pulls no punches. She's almost like a seer screaming her warnings to a deaf world. She looks back at wars, looks around at wars, and points forward to more wars. Harvey seems to think that these ghastly wars don't just destroy the "enemy" but us, England, the England she loves, as is afraid has become a casualty too, like truth. A country involved in so much killing, eventually ends up killing itself.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Let England Shake P.J. Harvey 12" Vinyl Record, 19 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Let England Shake [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Make no bones about it, this is a great album and a different direction for Polly's sound. I wait expectantly for what she comes up with next. My previous favourite Polly L.P. is 'To Bring You My Love.'
My problem with this is the quality control of the records. I am on my second vinyl copy of 'Let England Shake' (the first one had lots of surface marks that affected playback) and again it has arrived in poor condition for a 'new' record.
The packaging was great, the sleeve is good quality thick cardboard, graphics are good and the vinyl is heavy weight and not warped at all. It does look like a monkey with greasy fingers has played with it, then packed it. The L.P. arrived in a cellophane sealed packet, so it left the production plant like this. I am sure Polly Harvey would not be pleased with this end result given the work she has put into creating what is musically a masterpiece.

The parts of the L.P. that are not affected by surface noise are sublime and sound way better than the c.d. (by some distance)
omwe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last living rose, 26 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Let England Shake (Audio CD)
An unbelievably fantastic album of haunting melodies and cutting lyrics depicting the carnage of the ungreat war. The first seven tracks in particular are masterpieces. This is the best album since The Cure's 'Disintegration' back in '89. A faultless album of the highest calibre with Polly's voice on perfect form throughout.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Agonistic trepidation, 9 Sept. 2011
By 
technoguy "jack" (Rugby) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Let England Shake (Audio CD)
Polly Harvey has shown she has staying power and a visionary awareness as an artist.She won the Mercury Prize in 2000 when she watched from her hotel room a burning New York seared into her consciousness with 9/11.She has taken up the torch of the folk artist and war poet,inspired by Harold Pinter's anti-war poems.She has changed from her introspective piano-led last album,White Chalk and has donned the prophet's robes and sings in varying forms of tone,heightened,ethereal,whispered,ironical, angry.The first 6 songs are excellent,the last 5 tail off,but all are haunting us with images born out of warfare,battle,the craggy,blasted landscapes of a waste land,soaked by feelings of Albion through the centuries.Using various instruments: autoharp, saxophone,mellotron,zither,harmonica, trombone,guitar,the music is essentially simple,born of a moral sincerity,that lifts it above all other music.A masterpiece.
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3.0 out of 5 stars 5 star music, 1 star for vinyl quality., 7 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Let England Shake [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Five stars for the music but things go downhill from there for the vinyl copy.

I returned the first as despite being sealed the record was covered in greasy fingerprints and had a lot of surface noise.
The second copy arrived in exactly the same condition, I decided to clean this with a Spin Clean Record Washer, this got rid of the fingerprints and some surface noise but it is still a noisy record. I have many 40 year old second hand records with less surface noise than this.

Not sure yet whether to return this copy but I expect the replacement will be no better as I see some other buyers have had the same problems.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern War Requiem, 14 Feb. 2011
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Let England Shake (Audio CD)
2007's 'White Chalk' was a beautifully desolate affair. P J Harvey stripped
her muse down to a small pile of wind-blasted bones and brittle hair. It
was a wonderfully challenging work. Dark beyond the darkest void.

Her new album 'Let England Shake' is a different kettle of fish altogether.
This music eschews interiority and looks out into the world, slicing the
tainted air like a sword. Ms Harvey casts a critical gaze at the state of the
nation (and nationalism in all its many poisonous guises). The English
have never really had an appetite for revolution or anti-establishment
fervour. We watch and wait and wonder but on the whole choose not to act.

Challenging the status quo has been left largely to occasional maverick
visionary voices. The poetry of William Blake and Wilfred Owen; the films
of Derek Jarman (especially 1987's 'The Last Of England') With this extraordinary
album Ms Harvey, too, nails her manifesto to the mast and delivers a dozen new
incredibly powerful songs with inflammatory gusto and unrestrained passion!
She's angry and wants the whole wide, wicked world to know!

The overall ambience of the album is raw, open, acoustic and percussive.
The songs are quite the best she has written and her voice has never sounded
more focussed. There is real feeling here; in the politics and the clear damning
poetic vision of the brutality and the mindless stupidity of armed conflict!

Tracks such as 'In The Dark Places'; 'Bitter Branches' and the truly superb
'The Words That Maketh Murder' burn their stark messages into our minds
with unflinching visceral candour. Ms Harvey stares the very Devil (in us)
in the face and will not look away! Even in the most delicate moments, like
the fragile and almost pretty melody of 'Hanging In The Wire', there is no
respite from the project's overbearing sense of pain, loss and regret.

Ultimately 'Let England Shake' is about our own complicity in the madness of
the vile mechanics of war. Ms Harvey holds up a mirror to our country's broken
pride and forces us to look at our own reflection and responsibility within the
context of a wider world beyond the sheltered insularity of these ragged shores.

Final track, 'The Colour Of The Earth' literally bleeds with a deeply affecting
sense of pity and shame. A tiny anthem for broken dreams and a scathing
reminder of the hopeless waste and futility of war. A magisterial achievement.

Essential.
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Let England Shake
Let England Shake by PJ Harvey (Audio CD - 2011)
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