It took two and a half years to write this according to Miss Harvey and after a day of listening I'm still feeling underwhelmed. Not turned off, but certainly underwhelmed.
In fact I'm sure she could have found better things to do with her time.
The build up to the release gave the impression that this would be a political exploration of England. An artistic magnifying glass cast over a society living through dark times.
Back then I thought it was a promising hint of what was to come.
Unfortunately the length of time working on it appears to have served to do little more than edge her towards bypassing the woods and focussing on the trees.
It's all over the place. Beyond being simply eclectic.
There's everything, and the kitchen sink here. Post punk indie folk. Call it what you will. Whatever it is it isn't working.
It's main problem seems to be that it is expected to be treated as a concept, a whole piece that should be appreciated in its entirety, and while individually certain tracks are fine, hang them all together and it's a mismatched patchwork quilt of self indulgent twaddle.
If Patti Smith and Enya got together and shouted at each other while playing their albums in the background then that's what some of this would sound like. Other tracks aren't even as good as that.
It's not all bad, but the balance is severely off and there is more negative points coming to the fore than positive ones.
The hardcore fans will disagree, and as per usual slavish praise from the critics will be heaped upon it, but take it from me. It aint that good.
PS. The ironic rip off of surfin' bird doesn't work either.