Let England Shake

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Let England Shake Image
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 42 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 189 Ratings

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  • Summary: Polly Jean Harvey takes a political approach on her latest album, as a singer-songwriter speaking on the casualties of war, the cruelty of life and the condition of being human.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
  1. 100
    This is the best album for 2011, and not just the last two months.
  2. 100
    Let England Shake is an album that only the Polly Harvey of today could have written.
  3. A dimly lit, lo-fi hybrid, Shake takes its cue from some of Harvey's most successful past works, but has its own uniquely brash textures.
  4. Feb 15, 2011
    85
    Harvey's singing delivers the material by juggling unwieldy emotions with care and empathy. And she makes the experience sound natural -- like a true no-brainer.
  5. Feb 16, 2011
    80
    This is war poetry at its finest and will keep you coming back for many repeat listens. Its influence on any listener, impressionable or otherwise, should be a positive one.
  6. Feb 14, 2011
    80
    Authoritatively potent, bitterly bleak and beautiful, this record is an unexpected but essential punch in the face.
  7. Feb 15, 2011
    60
    Always an underrated guitarist, Harvey makes use of the jaunty rhythms of British folk music, but takes no comfort in the past. And you don't have to care about English history--or England in general--to fall under Harvey's spell.

See all 42 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 44
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 44
  3. Negative: 2 out of 44
  1. Mar 1, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A breathtaking beauty both in lyrics and music. Simplicity rules. Pete Doherty and Beck might have wished to clean her shoes. Me too. Even my dog seems to loose his regular interest in fresh veal... Jokes aside, just try it, will not get dissapointed. Expand
  2. Mar 20, 2012
    10
    This is easily the best album of 2011, and the best war album in the history of music. There is not a wasted moment on this album and everyThis is easily the best album of 2011, and the best war album in the history of music. There is not a wasted moment on this album and every song is its own individual masterpiece. The album is inspired by WWII and it captures all its emotions. It is simply amazing, and if all you can focus on is her vocals, then maybe music isn't for you. A+ Expand
  3. Feb 17, 2011
    10
    This album should be talked about all year!! This album should inspire all musicians to write/be inspired by lyrics that force you to listenThis album should be talked about all year!! This album should inspire all musicians to write/be inspired by lyrics that force you to listen to them along with the music, and the voice singing them. Poetry yes, but what I love is the fact that PJ writes about England's march into the ground with passion, and that there is no mention of hope or prayer yet the album is recorded in an old church. Also, her lyrics frame many scenes of battle and death and the only time the word 'blood' is sung, is in the last line of the last song. Haunting and dark, yet soothing and peaceful use of her voice and choice of weapons (instruments). PJ should definitely incorporate the saxophone more in the future, but, again, I am sure what she plays and what she sings will surprise again. Expand
  4. Jun 30, 2011
    10
    It's rare that one can be so artfully political while avoiding both pretense and immaturity. She pulls it off incredibly well... like whenIt's rare that one can be so artfully political while avoiding both pretense and immaturity. She pulls it off incredibly well... like when your lover is the one you hate the most.

    There's such range to it. At some points it's like that part of a movie where the sound effects go silent while the score plays illustriously... at others, it's as though she's pissing on the constitution.

    My favourite? When she not only pulls off but SLAM DUNKS the line "What if I take my problem to the United Nations."

    Walking away from a burning building...
    Expand
  5. Feb 17, 2011
    9
    A stunning album. In the past, I've only considered myself a moderate fan but I love, love, love this album. Somehow, she has managed toA stunning album. In the past, I've only considered myself a moderate fan but I love, love, love this album. Somehow, she has managed to craft a work which is fiercely intelligent - brimming with perceptive social commentary - yet one which never adopts a preachy or overly didactic tone. And despite its lyrical and conceptual depth - it is the music which carries the listener. She consistently and seamlessly interweaves gorgeous turns in melody - delighting as she surprises, disturbs and grabs hold of her audience. Here is a woman who is in full possession of her impressive talents - she is fully and confidently engaged with her artistic vision but never for a moment pandering to the expectations of critics or even fans. Ms. Harvey will not be to everyone's liking - she challenges and stretches her audience. But I urge you to give this one a try - patient listening will be well worth your time. Expand
  6. Mar 9, 2011
    9
    There's no sense of pride in Harvey's words and music; just a chilling reminder that judgement by spilling blood is never the answer. Her rawThere's no sense of pride in Harvey's words and music; just a chilling reminder that judgement by spilling blood is never the answer. Her raw honesty for the beloved homeland is passionate beyond bounds and for that reason extremely effective in delivering her greatest recording. http://hackskeptic.com Expand

See all 44 User Reviews

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