PJ Harvey - White Chalk
NME.COM feature on PJ Harvey - White Chalk album including album review, artwork, tracks, listen now, tour dates, discography and more.
Release date: 01 January 2008
'It’s a record to be played alone at 3am with just the creak of ancient floorboards and the howling wind through the trees for company'
Although she’s been knocking out albums for over 15 years, no two PJ Harvey records are ever the same. In fact, each is a total reaction to the last one. When we last checked in on Planet Harvey with 2004’s ‘Uh Huh Her’ , she’d replaced dirty urban duets with Thom Yorke and the Mercury-winning guitars of ‘Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea’ with a scratchy,...
- Sep 21, 2007
Tracklisting click track to read more
- The Devil
- Dear Darkness
- Grow Grow Grow
- When Under Ether
- White Chalk
- Broken Harp
- To Talk To You
- The Piano
- Before Departure
- The Mountain
Troxy, London, Sunday 27th February
- Mar 9, 2011
Polly’s most affecting and impressive work so far
- Feb 9, 2011
PJ returns to debut some new material at the southwest’s most up-market festival. Lulworth Castle, Dorset, Friday July 24-Sunday July 26
- Aug 5, 2009
'Let England Shake: 12 Short Films by Seamus Murphy' is out December 12
Singer beats off competition from Radiohead, Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes to win award
The character of Ophelia plays Harvey's score
PJ Harvey - White Chalk: Wikipedia Album Entry
WHITE CHALK is as surprising a musical change of direction for Polly Jean Harvey as the bluesy, torchy TO BRING YOU MY LOVE was back in 1995 after the corrosive guitar fury of the Welsh singer-songwriter's first two albums. Indeed, WHITE CHALK may be PJ Harvey's most unexpected work yet, as well as her most artistically accomplished. Putting down her signature guitar in favor of piano (an instrument she has never played on record before), Harvey has crafted a gloriously strange song cycle that owes much to the art rock likes of Kate Bush or Genesis-era Peter Gabriel. These 11 songs tell a fractured, loosely connected story that blends allegorical fantasy with some of the most intensely personal vocal performances of Harvey's career. Highlights include the phantasmagorical "When Under Ether" and the near apocalyptically intense closer "The Mountain," although WHITE CHALK is one of those albums that is best experienced as a whole.
Personnel: PJ Harvey (acoustic guitar); Martin Brunsden, Briget Pearse, Nick Bicât, Andrew Dickson (vocals); John Parish (acoustic guitar); Nico Brown (concertina); Eric Drew Feldman (keyboards); Jim White (drums).
Rolling Stone (p.76) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[The songs] have a cold pastoral kind of chill, as Harvey howls about being possessed by demon lovers and ghosts in 'The Devil' and 'The Piano.'"
Spin (pp.95-96) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Now, romantic desire's dark and twisted side is Harvey's main creative turf....Her vocals are downright pretty, sounding more like those of a traditional English singer than the raging punk Medusa of old."
Q (p.98) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Shunning the guitar in favour of gauzy piano and smudged vocals, Harvey sounds like she's channelling through a Victorian medium..."
Uncut (p.84) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "An album of lonely beauty and piercing sorrow, WHITE CHALK is PJ Harvey back at the peak of her considerable powers."
The Wire (p.60) - "Harvey's new strategy has been successful....It's certainly her most haunting work."
The Wire (p.35) - Included in The Wire's "50 Records of the Year 2007".
Q (Magazine) (p.80) - Ranked #24 in Q's "The 50 Best Albums Of 2007" -- "Harvey produced an album of such unsettling intimacy that it dares you to play it alone in the dark."
User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License and may also be available under the GNU FDL.
Artist/Album artwork images hosted by Last.fm. For copyright enquiries please see here.
As soon as I'm left alone
The Devil wanders into my soul
And I pretend to myself
And I pretend to myself
Farewell, my friends
Farewell, my dear ones
If I was rude
Forgive my weakness
Hit her with a hammer
Teeth smashed in
Red tongues twitching
Look inside a skeleton
How I miss you
Under the earth
Wish I was with you
All those places
Where I recall
The memories that grip me
And pin me down
Please donât reproach me
For, for how empty
My life has become
White chalk hills are all I've known
White chalk hills will rot my bones
White chalk sticking to my shoes
White chalk playing as a child with you
The ceiling is moving
Moving in time
Like a conveyor belt
Above my eyes
I sowed a seed
Underneath the oak tree
I trod it in
With my boots I trampled it down
Dear darkness, dear darkness
Won't you cover, cover me again?
Dear darkness, dear
I've been your friend for many years
Above the mountain, the mountain
An eagle is flying
High above the mountain