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Thread: Let England Shake: the all-purpose thread.

  1. #2431
    I'm pretty sure he said "Killdren". Stone's Avatar
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    From FB:

    Following on from picking up The Outstanding Contribution to Music Award at last year’s NME Awards - Let England Shake has just been nominated in the Best Album category for the 2012 NME Awards. Other nominees in this category include Arctic Monkeys, The Horrors, Noel Gallagher and The Vaccines. Voting is now open on NME.com @ http://www.nme.com/awardsvote
    I'm all for P J attention, but am I the only one who thinks it's odd they are nominating a 2011 album (which was finished in 2010) for a 2012 award? Maybe I'm just not comfortable seeing the album in a category where Noel Gallager and The Horrors are. *shudder.

  2. #2432
    Militia of the Mind toriMODE's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's odd.

  3. #2433
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    New interview in The West Australian



    Late last year, The West Australian's music critics awarded PJ Harvey's Let England Shake the mantle of album of the year. We were not alone, review aggregate site Metacritic got in on the action, and also agreed that the war-inspired album was the best 2011 had to offer.

    A few hours before her breathtaking performance at the Perth Concert Hall last month, the English songstress was in a thoughtful mood, acknowledging that the positive attention for Let England Shake had not hurt.

    "It's very strengthening for me as an artist," Polly Jean Harvey begins. "I learnt a long time ago not to form expectations, and when you finish a body of work, to not presuppose how it might be taken. Because I've learnt that you're often not right, and that's not how you should judge a piece anyway. For myself, it's down to whether I feel I reached the place I was setting out for in the beginning, what I was hoping to achieve. Did I get there?

    "More often than not the answer is no. It's very rare that I feel I achieved what I wanted to with a particular project, in fact it's maybe happened two or three times in my whole 20 years of work. And with Let England Shake, I did have that sense of satisfaction that I'd absolutely done what I'd set out to do at the beginning of the piece. So I was pleased with it at that point, but I had no idea how it would be received."

    Harvey has never released a dud. So, which projects mark the "two or three times" the 42-year-old feels she achieved what she set out to do.

    "To Bring You My Love (1995) was a very difficult record to make," she reveals, "and quite a change for me in terms of sound and subject matter. I was really breaking away from the way I'd been writing before and when I got to the end of that album, which was a long time in the making, I knew that I'd moved on to new ground and I was very pleased with where I'd got to.

    "And I think Rid Of Me (1993) again was a record that was going completely against the grain of where I could have gone and a very brutal one-dimensional area that I was heading for and got to."

    Like To Bring You My Love, Let England Shake took a long time to make, Harvey citing that the writing process began back in 2006 before recording had begun on White Chalk (2007).

    "I'm a writer that works with words and music every day so it's not as if I finish one album, then have a big break and suddenly write a new album," Harvey says. "The beginnings of this record would have happened after I'd finished writing White Chalk, probably before recording it. It seems to take longer, the more critical I become of my own work because I'm less likely to accept things I don't think are as strong as they could be.

    "I think it's much more important to produce a strong piece of work and wait for however long that takes, than to put out something mediocre."

    Recently re-released on DVD as 12 Short Films: Let England Shake, filmmaker Seamus Murphy's interpretations utilise very English landscapes and imagery to complement the songs. I'm particularly interested to know what Harvey thought when she first saw scenes shot in a bingo hall that accompany On Battleship Hill.

    "I was surprised and delighted at how perfect it was and how it's enhanced the sadness of the song in some way, which surprised me and made me hear it anew," she says. "I think that's the beautiful thing Seamus' films do."

    Perhaps the most devastating element to Let England Shake is the sense of unrest it leaves you with, and in a year that produced the London Riots, Harvey's not shy of claiming the album as her own response to her nation's unease.

    "I couldn't have imagined what happened in the year that's past, we've seen what's happened in the Middle East, we've seen riots in England, we've seen escalations of war in other countries and of course I couldn't have had any premonition about that. But I think I'd felt the general sense of unease for a long time, and I think many people have. And maybe a greater sense of urgency, the need to try and express some of these things, was growing on me - which pushed me to this point where I wanted to make the record now.

    "It's quite uncanny how, to stand on the stage tonight and sing those songs, somehow has a resonance with what I've seen on the news this morning," Harvey says.
    "It continues to grow and change each day, which hasn't happened to me with a piece of music before."

    12 Short Films: Let England Shake is out now on DVD.

  4. #2434
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    Let England Shake was released a year ago in the UK today. It's been a great year for PJH and, a year on, I'm still loving the album.

  5. #2435
    I'm pretty sure he said "Killdren". Stone's Avatar
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    Yay! Great year for Polly, huh? I still hate my friends who managed to snatch copies of the singles (I ordered mine but apparently something went wrong with the order and it couldn't be placed again as they went out of stock ).

  6. #2436
    Militia of the Mind toriMODE's Avatar
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    I haven't listened to it in a few months. I should rectify that shortly.

  7. #2437
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    BRIT Awards tonight. Doesn't seem like the kind of event Polly would attend now, but you never know. Is it too much to hope that LES might win the Best British Album category?

  8. #2438
    I'm pretty sure he said "Killdren". Stone's Avatar
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    Well, it's a no brainer which the best album is:

    Adele - 21
    Coldplay - Mylo Xyloto
    Ed Sheeran - +
    Florence & The Machine - Ceremonials
    PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
    and I wish nothing more but Polly winning over Adele again, but I highly doubt it.

  9. #2439
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    This has been the most slow-burning PJ Harvey album for me ever.

    I always liked it, but initially was baffled that it received SUCH rapturous reviews. I still strongly prefer several of her other releases, but I can say that I now love it.

    Even though it's not my absolute favorite album of hers, there's been something very sweet and satisfying about seeing PJ have the spotlight shine on her in such an admiring way this past year. She's such an exceptional artist, and it's not like she generally has a particularly high profile. She's an underdog compared to these big pop monsters out there, and it's nice to see the underdog getting some well-deserved attention.

  10. #2440
    A Matter Of How You See It Kala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by menju56 View Post
    BRIT Awards tonight. Doesn't seem like the kind of event Polly would attend now, but you never know. Is it too much to hope that LES might win the Best British Album category?
    I have a feeling 21 will win it.

  11. #2441
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kala View Post
    I have a feeling 21 will win it.
    Your feeling was right, Kala.

  12. #2442
    Crow Winger Bruce's Avatar
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    Whatever, it's the BRIT Awards. They're equatable to the Grammy's, right? Whatever sold the most wins the award. I think Polly winning the Mercury prize was the real triumph as it was awarded to her by her peers in recognition of artistic merit, not sales. But yeah, LES > 21 x's infinity.

  13. #2443
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    During the awards they did a little spotlight thing on each nominated album for Best British Album. Here's PJ's one


  14. #2444
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    Tom Cowan from The Horrors (who won Best Album at the NME Awards) says PJ should have won

    The Horrors rocker Tom Cowan was baffled when his band won a top prize at the Nme Awards - because he was rooting for Pj Harvey to take the trophy.

    The British group scooped Best Album for Skying at the London ceremony on Wednesday (29Feb12), but Cowan insists Harvey's critically acclaimed Let England Shake was more deserving of the coveted honour.

    He tells Britain's Daily Star, "It's the first time we've been to the Nme Awards, and the first time we've won so we've struck lucky. We were pretty confused when our name was read out because we were up against PJ Harvey.

    "I wanted her to win, not us, as her record Let England Shake is so good. It's better than our album Skying, so it's silly that we've won."

  15. #2445
    DEEKWARE INDYPENDANTS!!! halo eighteen's Avatar
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    Robert Smith of the Cure defends his belief that music shouldn't be given away for free, and says he's happy to pay for Let England Shake:

    "I was vilified by a lot of the mainstream media - particularly online where there's a vested interest - who tried to turn it into like, ' Oh, I don't wanna give stuff away for free because I wanna make money out of it,' which is totally at odds with what we do because we often release stuff that's entirely for charity. We have no interest in making money out of everything we do, we never have. My point is it devalues the art and I hold by it. To me it's worth something. I'm happy to pay for PJ Harvey's new album. And I think anyone should be because it brings me hours of entertainment and pleasure, so why should it be the one area of life where it's free? It doesn't make any sense to me."

    http://craigjparker.blogspot.com/201...n-new-nme.html

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