The Hope Six Demolition Project

PJ Harvey

Vagrant/Island, 2016

http://pjharvey.net

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/13/2016

On PJ Harvey’s ninth overall solo album and first in five years, she takes a bit of a political bent; it doesn’t really strengthen or weaken the album, but this isn’t some of her best work.

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Opening track “The Community Of Hope” is a different song with its Wal-Mart diss and while it’s an okay track, it’s not the PJ Harvey I grew up liking. There are actual tracks that do stand out, like “A Line In The Sand,” which highlights Polly Jean’s excellent vocals, and one of the album’s real standouts, “River Anacostia.” The latter is a very nice, gentle, slower track that works amazingly well and really does stand out above the rest of the just average material present on the disc.

“Medicinals” is another halfway decent track, but it’s one of those that doesn’t really do a whole lot for me. It seems to me that perhaps Polly Jean was in a bit of a slump. There’s not a lot of meat in these tracks, and it’s really a shame from someone of PJ’s stature and sensibility. The best example is “The Wheel,” while it’s an alright track, it doesn’t come any near close to what PJ has become known for in her 25+ years of making music.

But all is not lost on this disc. The best track is also the best way to close out the proceedings: “Dollar, Dollar” is a really great song, just a really great showcase for all the musicians involved. It’s definitely one of the few songs on this disc that sticks out and will go with you long after the disc is finished.

Ultimately this just isn’t a very good record. We have all come to expect a bit more from PJ Harvey and she just didn’t deliver on this disc. She has made some really great records and some that aren’t so great over her long and esteemed career. Unfortunately, this is a disc that definitely falls in the latter category.

Rating: C

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