White Chalk

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White Chalk
A woman sitting in an upright position in a white Victorian era dress. To her left, white text reads "PJ Harvey White Chalk."
Studio album by PJ Harvey
Released 24 September 2007 (2007-09-24)
Recorded November 2006–March 2007
Genre Alternative rock, folk rock, piano rock
Length 33:57
Label Island
Producer Flood, John Parish, PJ Harvey
PJ Harvey chronology
Uh Huh Her
(2004)
White Chalk
(2007)
Let England Shake
(2011)
Singles from White Chalk
  1. "When Under Ether"
    Released: 17 September 2007 (2007-09-17)
  2. "The Piano"
    Released: 3 December 2007 (2007-12-03)
  3. "The Devil"
    Released: 18 March 2008 (2008-03-18)

White Chalk is the seventh studio album by English alternative rock musician PJ Harvey, released on 24 September 2007 on Island Records.[1]

Work on the album started in 2006, with producer Flood and John Parish, who also worked on her To Bring You My Love and Is This Desire? albums. Other collaborators on White Chalk are Eric Drew Feldman and Jim White from Dirty Three.[2]

The first single to be released from White Chalk was "When Under Ether" on 17 September 2007 on digital download and 7" vinyl. A second single, "The Piano," was released on 26 November 2007. A third, "The Devil," was released on 7", download, and CD formats in March 2008.

Style[edit]

The previous album Uh Huh Her had a raw sound[3] but for this record White Chalk, Rolling Stone 's magazine noted that Harvey "delved further into a Goth-like vibe in the much quieter, haunting, piano-based music".[3] For this album she gave up the traditional three-piece sound guitar/bass/drums and recorded a set of songs for piano, despite her lack of expertise on the instrument. In an interview in The Wire she explained "the great thing about learning a new instrument from scratch is that it [...] liberates your imagination."[4]

Vocally, she sang in a much higher register than usual, at a pitch outside her normal range and "howled about being possessed by demon lovers and ghosts".[5] Lyrically, Harvey continued with the dark, moody themes typical of much of her music.[4]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 80/100[6]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[7]
The A.V. Club A-[8]
Entertainment Weekly C[9]
musicOMH 4.5/5 stars[10]
The Phoenix 4/4 stars[11]
Pitchfork Media 6.8/10[12]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[5]
Slant 5/5 stars[13]
Sputnikmusic 4/5 stars[14]
Stylus C+[15]

The album has received mostly positive reviews and has a score of 80/100 on Metacritic.[16] The Observer gave the album 5 stars out of 5,[17] while Robert Christgau picked out one song from the album, "When Under Ether", as a "choice cut" ((choice cut)).[18]

Formats[edit]

The US release is available on CD and 33⅓ rpm LP. The UK release is available on CD and 45 rpm vinyl record. White Chalk is also available on iTunes complete with a bonus track, "Wait".

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by PJ Harvey

No. Title Length
1. "The Devil"   2:55
2. "Dear Darkness"   3:09
3. "Grow Grow Grow"   3:21
4. "When Under Ether"   2:22
5. "White Chalk"   3:06
6. "Broken Harp"   1:57
7. "Silence"   3:05
8. "To Talk to You"   4:00
9. "The Piano"   2:36
10. "Before Departure"   3:45
11. "The Mountain"   3:10
Total length:
33:57
iTunes[19] bonus track
No. Title Length
12. "Wait"   2:17
Total length:
36:14

Personnel[edit]

All personnel credits adapted from the album's liner notes.[20]

Chart positions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cohen, Jonathan (2 July 2007). "PJ Harvey Goes Into The 'White' On New Album". Billboard magazine. Retrieved 3 July 2007. 
  2. ^ PJ Harvey to return with new album NME.com 7 February 2007, Retrieved on 07-07-07
  3. ^ a b Kem, Marc. "PJ Harvey Rolling Stone'Biography". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 10-1-2012. "Harvey returned to a rawer, darker sound on Uh Huh Her (Number 29, 2004) and delved further into a Goth-like vibe in the much quieter, haunting, piano-based music of 2007's White Chalk." 
  4. ^ a b Stubbs, D. (September 2007). "Return of the Native". The Wire 283: 34. 
  5. ^ a b Rob Sheffield (20 September 2007). "White Chalk". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Critic Reviews on Metacritic
  7. ^ Allmusic review
  8. ^ Phipps, Keith (2 October 2007). "P.J. Harvey: White Chalk". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  9. ^ Greenblatt, Leah (5 October 2007). "White Chalk Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  10. ^ Lee, Tim (24 September 2007). "PJ Harvey - White Chalk". musicOMH. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  11. ^ The Phoenix review
  12. ^ Pitchfork Media review
  13. ^ Jonathan Keefe (1 October 2007). "PJ Harvey: White Chalk". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  14. ^ Nick Butler (18 September 2007). "PJ Harvey - White Chalk (staff review)". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  15. ^ Josh Love (28 September 2007). "PJ Harvey - White Chalk - Review". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  16. ^ "White Chalk Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  17. ^ Paul Mardles (15 September 2007). "CD: PJ Harvey, White Chalk". The Observer. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  18. ^ Robert Christgau. "CG: PJ Harvey". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  19. ^ "iTunes – Music – White Chalk (Exclusive Edition) by PJ Harvey". iTunes. Apple. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  20. ^ White Chalk (LP). PJ Harvey. Island Records. 2007. LC 00407. 
  21. ^ "australian-charts.com – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  22. ^ "PJ Harvey – White Chalk – austriancharts.at". austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  23. ^ a b "ultratop.be – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  24. ^ "danishcharts.com – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". danishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  25. ^ "dutchcharts.nl – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  26. ^ "finnishcharts.com – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". finnishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  27. ^ "lescharts.com – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  28. ^ "charts.de". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  29. ^ "GFK Chart-Track". chart-track.co.uk. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  30. ^ "FIMI – Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana – Classifiche". Federation of the Italian Music Industry (in Italian). Retrieved 20 June 2012.  N.B. User must select the weekly chart from the drop-down lists. For White Chalk, select 2007 > Ottobre > (Settimana 41).
  31. ^ "charts.org.nz – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  32. ^ "norwegiancharts.com – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  33. ^ "portuguesecharts.com – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". portuguesecharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  34. ^ "spanishcharts.com – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". spanishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  35. ^ "swedishcharts.com – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  36. ^ "PJ Harvey – White Chalk – hitparade.ch". Hitparade. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  37. ^ "PJ HARVEY | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  38. ^ a b c "White Chalk – PJ Harvey | Billboard.com". Billboard. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  39. ^ "Chart Log UK: H & Claire–Hysterix". zobbel.de. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  40. ^ "British album certifications – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter White Chalk in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go

External links[edit]