I’m currently on my sixth listen, according to Monsieur iTunes. But that’s not counting the listens at work. And for “The Words that Maketh Murder,” I’m on number 12. Like they say about heroin, how you become an addict the first time you plunge, or at least cordin to the fuckos who cry about it while fighting it, I became a mouth-frothed-neck-scratched-bug-eyed-ADDICT of PJ Harvey’s newest, Let England Shake, the first time I listened to it all the way through. We were old friends and we had just met at a bar or on the subway, talking about things way beyond what we usually talked about on our own or with anyone we’re comfortable with. We had one of those conversations that had no place, no time, no language. We understood one another, yet had moments of realizing we did not know some basics, like each other’s name or how old we were or why we were where we were at that specific moment in our lives. These things did not matter. We part, filled to the goddamn brim with basic questions, like why does her voice sound so much different than EVERY other record- or what’s with the chanting – the weird history – the horror – the limbs – is that a guitar being played underwater with marbles in its mouth? Is this church music or dancing music or dancing music for abandoned churches? I have all these questions, but I don’t look them up. I don’t feel any urge to read reviews or interviews or any words attempting to describe this thing. Is this the first time I’ve ever felt this way about music? This question should bug the fucking shit out of me, but it doesn’t. All THE questions should bug the shit out of me. They don’t. The questions comfort. I live and die, through England. I cannot go on as I am. Withered vine. Reaching from. The country that I love. England. You leave the taste. For some reason, I want to end this with the phrase “upper echelon.” I don’t even know what that means. But, to you, Let England Shake, I cling, undaunted, never failing.
And the art work is fucking killer, too.