• Record Label: Vagrant
  • Release Date: Apr 15, 2016

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
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  1. Apr 8, 2016
    It all builds masterfully to a powerful, closing one-two punch.
  2. Mar 25, 2016
    On this album, Harvey is again sweeping up sonic history and weaving it into a pattern of her own making, but it’s more relaxed and more raucous, its reference points less, appropriately, English. It’s a deeply melodic record.
  3. 91
    These eleven joyous anthems and campfire sing-alongs find Harvey striding across fresh stylistic ground. Despite their bleak topicality, vibrant optimism radiates out from lyrical melancholy. Sonic warmth envelops the album like a sumptuous blanket.
  4. 90
    Not all of Hope Six is mired in dissonance. Harvey frequently returns to the well of pop music, but the irony of wrapping a grim lyrical message in upbeat music is that those uncomfortable truths become that much harder to overlook.
  5. Magnet
    Apr 15, 2016
    The Hope Six Demolition Project is yet another remarkable PJ Harvey effort. [No. 130, p.54]
  6. Apr 14, 2016
    The Hope Six Demolition Project might derive its title from a Housing and Urban Development program designed to “transform public housing,” but the bleak picture Harvey portrays on this stunning album gives that title a second, and more ominous, meaning.
  7. Apr 14, 2016
    Her music is always so distinctly hers, and she remains one of the most distinctive and thrilling voices we have.
  8. Apr 13, 2016
    The Hope Six Demolition Project implicates all of the Western world's complacency, making for a complex and challenging, though gorgeous, listen.
  9. Apr 15, 2016
    Harvey set out to bring listeners and the underprivileged subjects of her record together, and the exciting thing is that that final moment should surely do that.
  10. Apr 14, 2016
    The strongest songs come at the very end, where Harvey most effectively puts us in the setting she's describing and has the melodies to keep us there.
  11. Apr 14, 2016
    By anybody else’s standards, it would be a triumph, but it’s hard to escape the feeling that Harvey was after something more than a hugely enjoyable, potent-sounding album stuffed with great tunes--in which case, she’ll have to settle for a qualified success.
  12. Apr 13, 2016
    Harvey sings with unshakeable poise, and her melodies are as sticky as ever--to the point where you can imagine some songs working as barroom singalongs.
  13. 80
    We’re left with an album that hides behind the idea of specificity--the title and the lyrical content certainly want you to believe as such--but that ultimately provides a ferocious observation of our lopsided society. It’s also the best out-and-out rock record that Harvey’s made since Uh Huh Her.
  14. Apr 11, 2016
    It makes you puzzle its meaning, ponder on it, burrow nagging ideas into your head. And it is another stupendous record, of the sort nobody else is making, or probably could make.
  15. The Wire
    Mar 29, 2016
    One of the chief sources of the album's power is the value it assigns to the act of witnessing, of seeing and taking account of the most vulnerable. [Apr 2016, p.47]
  16. Mojo
    Mar 25, 2016
    There's an occasional clunkiness and Let England's Shake's visionary fever is lacking. Yet there's an authority in Harvey's voice, her brisk musical and lyrical stride demanding the listener keep up. [May 2016, p.84]
  17. Q Magazine
    Mar 25, 2016
    The end result is a heavyweight tour de force, and Polly Harvey's most fully-realised album to date. [May 2016, p.102]
  18. Uncut
    Mar 25, 2016
    Even when the mood turns slow and swampy on "Chain Of Keys" and "River Anacostia," the intensity never wavers. [May 2016, p.74]
  19. Aug 11, 2016
    Like its predecessor, Hope's lyrics alone spur startling awe and fierce innovation.
  20. Apr 14, 2016
    The Hope Six Demolition Project is her most exhilarating rock album in years, yoking the siren-like catchiness of her last great America-influenced album, Stories From the City… to the swamp-tarnished filth of her classic first three records, Dry, Rid of Me, and To Bring You My Love. It’s leering, brash, and dissonant, but also not without its warmth.
  21. Apr 15, 2016
    It’s not a “return to rock” (a phrase that probably interests Harvey about as much as “dirt-filled sandwich”), but The Hope Six Demolition Project does contain some of the songwriter’s most guitar-heavy material since the Uh Huh Her days.
  22. 70
    It's non-formulaic and filled with a sense of hope and belief. PJ Harvey singing about these things and building to reclamation and salvation is totally worth the trip. For fanboys and those who aren't. We need more of this in the world today.
  23. Apr 26, 2016
    Whatever your feelings around the words, and they are certainly a little clunky at times, this is a musically rich collection that is partly a logical step on from the rattle of 2011’s beautiful ‘Let England Shake’ and also as melodic a rock record as Harvey has released in some time.
  24. Apr 15, 2016
    What emerges is one of her most challenging albums, and one of her most urgent.
  25. Apr 15, 2016
    Befitting its origins, the album's sound is blunt and raw, mixing rock, blues, jazz, spirituals, and field recordings into the musical equivalent of photojournalism.
  26. Apr 13, 2016
    Project is prime second-tier Polly, opening melodic and textural doors unlike much else you’ll hear in 2016, and it amounts to a lean, compulsively listenable 41 minutes that makes a conscientious effort to do something larger with her gifts.
  27. Apr 15, 2016
    By orchestrating an album meant to embody the difficult experience of the advantaged world talking about the atrocities that surround us, the majority of the project lacks a clear stance beyond what has been readily called “poverty tourism.”
  28. Apr 22, 2016
    On The Hope Six Demolition Project, the album just sometimes sounds flat uncomfortable with its focus.
  29. Apr 18, 2016
    The distance between the photograph and the viewer is sometimes too great.
  30. Apr 15, 2016
    This began life as an art project at Somerset House, with Harvey composing and recording in a makeshift studio before a viewing public. Such pressurised circumstances might explain the absence of any sense of real pleasure in the finished work. I don’t hesitate to hail it as impressive but it does feel more civic project than classic album.
  31. 60
    The tableaux of refugee camps, warzones and dereliction--an abandoned building littered with syringes and shit, a drug-riddled neighbourhood, a polluted river, “a displaced family eating a cold horse’s hoof”--builds grimly throughout, albeit to uncertain ends.
  32. Apr 11, 2016
    This isn’t the best or the bravest music of her career, but Harvey continues to pave new ground. This time, she takes that responsibility very literally, exploring new places and inviting listeners into her strange universe.
  33. The album’s lyric booklet is very bare, offering little explanation. Sometimes this spare approach works, sometimes not.
  34. Apr 6, 2016
    PJ Harvey's least beautiful record by some distance, The Hope Street Demolition Project's intentions are admirable and inarguable. But weighed against the expectations raised by the overwhelming invention of her stout back catalogue, it falls uncomfortably short.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 80 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 80
  2. Negative: 15 out of 80
  1. Apr 24, 2016
    I'll admit, I wasn't completely sold the first time I listened to this album. The music is a bit strange and not at all what I was expecting,I'll admit, I wasn't completely sold the first time I listened to this album. The music is a bit strange and not at all what I was expecting, but I've listened to it a few more times and it's definitely grown on me. PJ Harvey has never been a stranger to being musically adventurous, and once again she has surprised us with something new and unique. In some ways this is actually her most mature album. Her lyrics and singing are more straightforward and confident than ever, the arrangements are varied and tight, and overall the album moves along at a nice pace and is incredibly cohesive. The style is actually kind of a weird combination, with the high and low vocals, the brash saxophone, the folksy, bouncy melodies, and the rock-heavy instrumentation, but it actually works surprisingly well, and it's something I feel only PJ could pull off.

    Overall this is a really enjoyable album and it's an absolute pleasure to listen to start to finish. It creates a really nice, unique musical atmosphere just as well as she did on Let England Shake and Is This Desire? Part of me wishes this album were longer, so I could get lost in this musical world a bit longer, but I do appreciate that it gets its message across effectively and doesn't overstay its welcome in the slightest.

    Standout tracks: The Wheel, Line In The Sand, The Ministry Of Defense
    Full Review »
  2. Apr 18, 2016
    Huge PJ fan since the early days, 25 wonderful years; the first time I have listened to the album, I was not fully seduced. You need first toHuge PJ fan since the early days, 25 wonderful years; the first time I have listened to the album, I was not fully seduced. You need first to make the journey to the album and slowly, it captures you. It is a bit destabilizing but again a completely different record, worth to own. Not my favourite PJ one though, but still a unique record in these "copy paste" years. I had learned to avoid expecting something from a new PJ record, as every last record was taking another direction. I am still sometimes missing the energy and rawness of the three first records, but the creativity and renewal of the artist has to be recognized. I really don't know if had better enjoyed a “Dry 2 kind of record than this new one, but it has surprised me enough to make me want to share these lines. Full Review »
  3. Apr 15, 2016
    Let me first say I am a huge PJ Harvey fan and I have every album she has ever made. This album just doesn't cut it for me. What's up with allLet me first say I am a huge PJ Harvey fan and I have every album she has ever made. This album just doesn't cut it for me. What's up with all the droning background vocals? Just awful . Listen to the background vocals on most of these songs. They are weak.
    I wanna hear my Polly again but not with this group!
    Full Review »