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 Chamber pop
Length 33:57
Label Island
Producer Flood, John Parish, PJ Harvey
PJ Harvey chronology
Uh Huh Her
(2004)Uh Huh Her2004
White Chalk
(2007)
Let England Shake
(2011)Let England Shake2011
Singles from White Chalk
  1. "When Under Ether"
    Released: 17 September 2007
  2. "The Piano"
    Released: 3 December 2007
  3. "The Devil"
    Released: 18 March 2008

White Chalk is the seventh studio album by English singer-songwriter and 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]

In an interview with NME PJ Harvey elaborated the meaning behind the album's title: “I just like the sound of the words white chalk. It can be millions of years old but erased in a second, and somehow has a timeless quality,” she added, before concluding: “The timelessness became more the source of inspiration.” [6]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic80/100[7]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[8]
The A.V. ClubA−[9]
Entertainment WeeklyC[10]
The Guardian4/5 stars[11]
Mojo4/5 stars[12]
NME7/10[13]
Pitchfork6.8/10[14]
Q4/5 stars[15]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[5]
Spin3.5/5 stars[16]

White Chalk received generally positive reviews and has a score of 80 out of 100 on Metacritic.[7] Uncut hailed the album in glowing terms, qualifying as "an album of lonely beauty and piercing sorrow" before concluding, "'White Chalk is P.J. Harvey back at the peak of her considerable powers."[17] The Observer gave the album 5 stars out of 5,[18] while Robert Christgau picked out one song from the album, "When Under Ether", as a "choice cut" ((choice cut)).[19]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Accolade Year Rank Ref.
NME 2007 Albums of the Year 2007 13 [20]
Stylus Magazine Top 50 Albums of 2007 2007 50 [21]
PopMatters The Best Albums of 2007 2007 47 [22]
The Wire 50 Records of the Year 2007 45 [23]

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 tracks written by PJ Harvey.

No.TitleLength
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[24] bonus track
No.TitleLength
12."Wait"2:17
Total length:36:14

Personnel[edit]

All personnel credits adapted from the album's liner notes.[25]

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.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  4. ^ a b Stubbs, D. (September 2007). "Return of the Native". The Wire 283: 34. 
  5. ^ a b Sheffield, Rob (20 September 2007). "White Chalk". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  6. ^ "PJ Harvey explains the story behind 'White Chalk'". NME. 21 September 2007. Retrieved 17 August 2018. 
  7. ^ a b "Reviews for White Chalk by PJ Harvey". Metacritic. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  8. ^ Phares, Heather. "White Chalk – PJ Harvey". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  9. ^ Phipps, Keith (2 October 2007). "P.J. Harvey: White Chalk". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  10. ^ Greenblatt, Leah (5 October 2007). "White Chalk". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  11. ^ Macpherson, Alex (21 September 2007). "PJ Harvey, White Chalk". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  12. ^ "PJ Harvey: White Chalk". Mojo (167): 91. October 2007. 
  13. ^ "PJ Harvey: 'White Chalk'". NME. 21 September 2007. Archived from the original on 19 December 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  14. ^ Klein, Joshua (24 September 2007). "PJ Harvey: White Chalk". Pitchfork. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  15. ^ "PJ Harvey: White Chalk". Q (255): 98. October 2007. 
  16. ^ Hermes, Will (October 2007). "Love Lies Bleeding". Spin. 23 (10): 95. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  17. ^ Hoskyns, Barney (October 2007). "White Chalk - review". Uncut. Retrieved 27 August 2017. 
  18. ^ Mardles, Paul (15 September 2007). "PJ Harvey, White Chalk". The Observer. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  19. ^ Christgau, Robert (November 2007). "Consumer Guide". MSN Music. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  20. ^ {{cite web|url=http://www.nme.com/best albums of 2007
  21. ^ http://www.stylusmagazine.com/articles/pop_playground/top-50-al0. Retrieved December 19, 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  22. ^ "PopMatters Picks: The Best Music of 2007". PopMatters. 2007-12-21. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  23. ^ "2007 Rewind: 50 Records of the Year"Paid subscription required. The Wire. No. 287. London. January 2008. p. 35 – via Exact Editions.  (subscription required)
  24. ^ "iTunes – Music – White Chalk (Exclusive Edition) by PJ Harvey". iTunes. Apple. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  25. ^ White Chalk (LP). PJ Harvey. Island Records. 2007. LC 00407. 
  26. ^ "australian-charts.com – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  27. ^ "PJ Harvey – White Chalk – austriancharts.at". austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  28. ^ a b "ultratop.be – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  29. ^ "danishcharts.com – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". danishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  30. ^ "dutchcharts.nl – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  31. ^ "finnishcharts.com – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". finnishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  32. ^ "lescharts.com – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  33. ^ "charts.de". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  34. ^ "GFK Chart-Track". chart-track.co.uk. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  35. ^ "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).
  36. ^ "charts.org.nz – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  37. ^ "norwegiancharts.com – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  38. ^ "portuguesecharts.com – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". portuguesecharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  39. ^ "spanishcharts.com – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". spanishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  40. ^ "swedishcharts.com – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  41. ^ "PJ Harvey – White Chalk – hitparade.ch". Hitparade. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  42. ^ "PJ HARVEY | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  43. ^ a b c "White Chalk – PJ Harvey | Billboard.com". Billboard. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  44. ^ "Chart Log UK: H & Claire–Hysterix". zobbel.de. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  45. ^ "French album certifications – PJ Harvey – White chalk" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  46. ^ http://infodisc.fr/Ventes_Albums_Tout_Temps.php?debut=10400
  47. ^ "British album certifications – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". British Phonographic Industry.  Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Enter White Chalk in the search field and then press Enter.
  48. ^ "American album certifications – PJ Harvey – White Chalk". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  49. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (26 March 2011). "License Check". Billboard. Retrieved 23 April 2018. 

External links[edit]