My birthday came early this year with the April release of PJ Harvey’s 11th album The Hope Six Demolition Project. Once again, Polly Jean removes the frills, glam and make-up and gets down in the dirt to tackle some fairly squalid subject matter. Harvey strikes uneasy chords combining avant-garde jazz saxophone wales with her signature guitar and drums on songs like Ministry of Defense and The Wheel. She also creates moving spiritual chants on songs like Chain of Keys and River Anacostia. Hope Six is raw, hard hitting filled with stark bitting lyrical imagery. It takes you to the abject poverty and destruction of the middle east, through the ruins of Kosovo and Afghanistan and then drops you right down Near the Memorials To Vietnam and Lincoln in the heart of our own decaying capital – Washington DC. This album is not just good, it is serious good, heavy stuff delivered with PJ Harvey style and tenacity.
“Wade in the water, God’s gonna trouble the water…”
If you prefer your alternative pop sweet and sugar coated, this is not for you. The Hope Six Demolition Project goes down like a stiff drink and it is by far my favorite album of 2016. It’s volatile cloth is cut very much in the same vein as Lou Reed’s New York. It will move you and open your eyes no matter how rose colored your glasses may be. Stream it for yourself and see. Enjoy!