386. PJ Harvey – “White Chalk”

Artists have every right to push themselves and explore new territory.

On this album, Polly Harvey puts down her trusty guitar and instead embraces the piano… despite it being one instrument she has not played much in her multi-instrumental past.

In doing so, she abandons her normal vocal range, heading up the register considerably. That makes for a very different beast than I’d been used to, and enjoyed.

The album is a slow, moody, contemplative set, but one I find limited joy in.  I completely understand that this is Harvey exploring the outer reaches of gothic land, and thus is supposed to be all eerie and other-worldly, but frankly I find it all too distant, dreary and a tad precious. I could cop a track or three of this material but a whole album just grates.

I prefer my banshees to be more in your face and less sneakily haunting.

File under: I prefer cheese

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