From the opening chords of “The Community of Hope,” a sarcastic rebuke to hypocritical and deliberate racism, to the one-two punch of misery and sorrow that closes the album (“The Wheel” and “Dollar Dollar”), PJ Harvey’s first album since 2011 is also one of her best. It’s somehow both immediately accessible yet challenging nevertheless, perhaps Harvey’s work closest to mainstream rock since 2000’s “Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea” but uncompromising nevertheless. Harvey’s work can often be difficult and esoteric, but here it’s the perfect blend of her hard-rock sound and her penchant for musical insularity.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)
You can watch the video for “The Community of Hope” here: