It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and I will admit that I don’t ‘get’ all her albums. Some of them are a bit too musically difficult to penetrate for me (yep, and I don’t mind saying that), and I lean towards the ‘softer’, more acessible songs. I love Stories From The City Stories From The Sea, which is mesmerising. But her latest album is better than even that. Summing it up as a ‘concept album about a very English view of war’ is hardly going to prick some people’s ears up, but it’s a beautiful whole, and the time invested in it is worth the wait in my opinion.
There’s not really a weak song on it, but my favourite is probably Let England Shake.
There’s something very British about it, its subject thrown right across the battles in the past, not just recent ones, that are fresher in the memory, and easier to grab attention, but back to the First and Second World Wars, and it was a subject I was fascinated in (in a macabre way as much as anything) when I was a kid. I’ve met as many people that like it as don’t, die-heard PJ fans included, but I think it’s a worthy Mercury winner. There’s something vital about a record that is about such an emotive subject, and also seeks to cast back into history rather than just pitch for Iraq or Afghanistan.
I’d be really interested to hear what people think of it.