PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

Great Britain’s annual Mercury Music Prize is a lot of fun. In the annual ceremony, a panel of music-business figures decides the best British album of the year. They often pick grand-consensus records like Suede’s first album and Pulp’s Different Class, but sometimes they go way off the reservation and pick something weird like Speech Debelle. Not this time, though! Today, the prize went to PJ Harvey’s excellent, much-esteemed wartime concept album Let England Shake.

According to the BBC, the album was the bookmakers’ favorite, which means that a grand and bizarre world of people who bet money on this thing must exist. It’s the second time Harvey’s won the big award, following a 2001 win for Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea. That means Harvey is the first artist ever to win two Mercury Prizes, which sounds about right.

Below, watch a video of Harvey performing “The Words That Maketh Murder” at the Mercury Prize ceremony.

Comments (8)
  1. Yep, you said it. That sounds about right.

  2. Easy choice to win it, James Blake is good and all, but PJ owns 2011 so far

  3. Ha, I haven’t been that big on this album, just like I was not a huge fan of Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, so I kind of had a feeling this would win. (Granted, I figured Adele had a damn good chance too.)
    That is awesome that she is the first artist to win it twice though!

  4. The bandwagon has officially fallen apart for Adele and James Blake. Congrats to a true artist: PJ Harvey!

  5. Darn, elbow missed out.

  6. What a bummer! In my opinion, PJ Harvey made a good and thoughtful record but not a timeless masterpiece this year. I hoped, lovely Anna Calvi would win it, I liked her record much more than PJ’s. PJ has already won that Prize years ago for Stories…. Anna is a newcomer, owns a great voice, sounds fresh and passionate. Additionally, she seemed to be a bit underrated this year by offline+online music press – so her debut album deserved the Mercury boost more than that already critically and commerically successful Let England Shake.

    • I guess my love of PJ Harvey still means that I’m happy she won, but agreed that Anna Calvi doesn’t seem to be getting the praise she deserves from the music press… and I’ve been listening to her album more than PJ’s. I’m sure she’s at least getting a boost for being on Mercury’s shortlist though.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post, reply to, or rate a comment.

%s1 / %s2