White Chalk

  • Record Label: Island
  • Release Date: Sep 25, 2007
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 38
  2. Negative: 1 out of 38
  1. Blender
    60
    Refining the spare sound of her last studio album "Uh Huh Her," she herein presents an 11-part song cycle about loss, longing and wandering bereft through the moors. [Oct 2007, p.108]
  2. Put in context, White Chalk serves her purposes, much as Bruce Springsteen’s "Nebraska" served his. On initial listen, the album is not a step forward, nor is it a step back, but rather a lateral move intended to leave breathing room for her next attack.
  3. Over the course of eleven songs of grim predestination, virtually no modernizing or even identifying signposts are allowed to disturb the terrain.
  4. On the largely piano-based White Chalk, she retreats into an odd little-girl-lost persona, singing almost entirely in a tremulous higher key that strangles the most powerful instrument in her arsenal: that voice.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 88 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. DamonMitchell
    Nov 13, 2007
    10
    I haven't had my heart so beautifully broken in a long time. This feels like the end of a trilogy in "Stories from..." she was in love I haven't had my heart so beautifully broken in a long time. This feels like the end of a trilogy in "Stories from..." she was in love with a boy and America, in "Uh Huh Her" the love affair was over but she had enough anger and fire to spit about it, in "White Chalk" the fire is out and it's an empty place where what's left really resonates. Full Review »
  2. PatrickWheeler
    Nov 6, 2007
    9
    Not since Rid Of Me in the early nineties has a PJ album struck a chord so strongly with me. I am roughly the same age as Polly and she seems Not since Rid Of Me in the early nineties has a PJ album struck a chord so strongly with me. I am roughly the same age as Polly and she seems to be in the same head space as me right now. So few artists have the guts to be this honest and not worry about upsetting fans who expect reiteration. Only To Bring You My Love is a more complete album. If you haven't heard Polly before get TBYML, then: Is This Desire?, then White Chalk. Full Review »
  3. Ryan
    Oct 30, 2007
    9
    Quickly becoming my favorite PJ album, along with To Bring You My Love, though not at all similar. Its bony, preternatural anti-glow of Quickly becoming my favorite PJ album, along with To Bring You My Love, though not at all similar. Its bony, preternatural anti-glow of lonely inner struggle is so compelling my jaw was dropped after the second listen. The only reason I don't give it a 10 is because I, as any fan of this beguilingly beautiful album should, just hope her next is even better. Full Review »