Let England Shake
Label: Universal-Island Records Ltd.
There's something magnetically haunting in PJ Harvey's music; it's intangible but always there, like a heart beating under the floorboards. Her eighth album pumps restlessly with this eerie substance. "England you leave a taste, a bitter one," Harvey croaks with a girly innocence -- but she's not ungrateful, just observant in her poetic tales of wars and woes. Some of the most visceral moments are strikingly upbeat: the pint-clanking bounce of "The Words That Maketh Murder" or the reggae nod on "Written on the Forehead," where Harvey, both ominously and jubilantly, declares "let it burn."