If you've heard her previous collaboration with John Parish you will know what to expect. If you haven't, this will come as a breath of fresh air to PJ Harvey fans. With Parish there is a mix of low key organ music - which he give wonderful "end of the pier"/freak show/church hymn connotations - to spiky, percussive guitar tunes that let Harvey do the loud abrasive tunes she so excels at.
Harvey's lyrics are a mix of uncomfortably confessional, or unsettling and edgy. They are also cleverly constructed; Leaving California she plays on the similar sounds leaving, living, loving have to superficially suggest a positive theme where the opposite exists. The opening track Black Hearted Love, is PJ at her best - the opening stress of her singing matched by Parish on an elongated first beat. There is an ethereal quality to "The Soldier" carried over from her previous album White Chalk.
Yet another really good offering from PJ Harvey and John Parish. This pair should make more music together.
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