PJ Harvey - The Wheel

There’s no build - just attention-demanding repetition.

PJ Harvey isn’t immune to transformation. In fact, over the course of a glittering career, she can change disguises in a split-second. ‘Stores From the City, Stories From the Sea’’s skyscraper rock took seven years to be dislodged by the eerie storm of ‘White Chalk’, but these were two polar opposites. After the riches of ‘Let England Shake’ took Harvey’s political voice to new heights, with plaudits a guarantee, the ball was in her court to take an unexpected next step.This makes returning gambit ‘The Wheel’ slightly disappointing, in a sense. It rackets and chants like the best of ‘Let England Shake’, but in a more conventional way. Instead of using old fables as a starting point, it bursts straight in with John Parish-backed force. There’s no build - just attention-demanding repetition. But there’s a hint that ‘The Wheel’ could open several new doors. ‘The Hope Six Demolition Project’ came together after journties to Kosovo, Afghanistan and Washington, D.C., and Harvey’s latest feels like a distillation of foreign worlds. “When I’m writing a song I visualise the entire scene. I can see the colours, I can tell the time of day, I can sense the mood, I can see the light changing, the shadows moving, everything in that picture,” she says in a statement. And once you’re transported to this alien environment, ‘The Wheel’ goes beyond the quintessential Englishness of her last record and into a different space. There’s hope yet that Harvey’s latest could be her finest work.

Get tickets to watch PJ Harvey live now.

Tags: PJ Harvey, Reviews

Read More

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Stay Updated!

Get the best of DIY to your inbox each week.

Latest Issue

May 2024

With Rachel Chinouriri, A.G. Cook, Yannis Philippakis, Wasia Project and more!

Read Now Buy Now Subscribe to DIY