Let England Shake
P.J. Harvey fills the gap in Anglo-lady pop history between Kate Bush and Florence Welch. Eccentric, powerful, striking and, yes, English, these women have never been frightened by their own shadows. You can tell by some of the daring moves and musical risks that they’re in it for creativity rather than record sales, and this is perhaps more true of Harvey than the others. Her latest offering pushes her to patriotic new heights. She is the queen of her motherland in the way that Morrissey is the king. Concerns and criticisms drip off her tongue in key tracks “In the Dark Places” and “England,” but as a bugle calls out in “The Glorious Land,” it is clear her love is unfailing. Her tales of modern history are a victorious triumph of jangling beats.