White Chalk

Universal Music Kft. Hungary
Release date
19 Dec 2011
Running length
11 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 The Devil 2:56 178,539
2 Dear Darkness 3:09 172,555
3 Grow Grow Grow 3:21 133,237
4 When Under Ether 2:22 170,550
5 White Chalk 3:06 165,147
6 Broken Harp 1:57 144,036
7 Silence 3:05 144,869
8 To Talk To You 4:00 117,546
9 The Piano 2:36 0
10 Before Departure 3:45 120,125
11 The Mountain 3:10 116,540

About this album

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 English 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 — ” 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.”

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