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REVIEW: PJ Harvey - The Hope Six Demolition Project

REVIEW: PJ Harvey - The Hope Six Demolition Project

By: Jessica Gonzalez
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A review of the PJ Harvey album The Hope Six Demolition Project.

 

Back on the scene with her ninth studio album, English singer-songwriter PJ Harvey gives us “The Hope Six Demolition Project,” a high-energy, guitar-heavy, fresh mix of songs that takes on such meaty topics as war and global poverty.


Inspired by recent travels to Afghanistan and Washington D.C., PJ Harvey doesn’t hold back on tracks like “The Community of Hope,” in which she describes a certain housing project as a  “well-known pathway of death” against a catchy cowbell, and in “Orange Monkey,” where upon “[taking] a plane to a foreign land” she observes mountains as  “plates tipped up upon themselves / the pain of fifty million years.”


It is hard to know what to expect with each PJ Harvey album, and this is certainly a good thing. Impassioned with the learning process that comes with making music, Harvey refuses to repeat anything she has ever done in any of her past albums. Her impressive contralto vocal range gives her the artistic freedom to experiment with eclectic sounds, and she uses this to her advantage on this album.


Playing against repetitive, guitar-driven rhythms in songs like “The Ministry of Defense,” “A Line in the Sand,” and “The Ministry of Social Affairs” Harvey’s voice serves as a melodic -- sometimes, even angelic -- counter-argument to the otherwise rebellious musical atmosphere inherent throughout the album. In this way, her voice as an instrument may serve to symbolize the good in the world we all hope for, while the more hectic parts of each song remind us of all there is in the world from which we must still shield ourselves -- or perhaps fight against.


With this album, PJ Harvey convinces us of the latter. We may be stronger than we think -- but in “The Hope Six Demolition Project,” she also reminds us that there is still so much strength in being present in the midst of it all -- in simply being vulnerable in this often destructive, chaotic world.

 

PJ Harvey - The Hope Six Demolition Project


Listen to a song by clicking on a title below:

Click to Play PJ Harvey The Hope Six Demolition Project (Full Album Stream)

Click to Play PJ Harvey - The Community Of Hope

Click to Play PJ Harvey - The Wheel

 
 
 
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