let England stream

NPR is streaming the new PJ Harvey album this week ahead of its release. Despite what the glowing reviews are saying it's not terribly good, however a mediocre new PJ Harvey is better than no new PJ Harvey I suppose. ("In The Dark Places" has a bit of an "It's You" vibe going for it and the title track thankfully does not have that stupid "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" sample in it, but that's about all the good I can pull from it for now.)

Far more interesting is 'Hotel Shampoo', the new LP from SFA's Gruff Rhys which is also streaming this week courtesy of his website. I haven't been able to drum up much excitement for this one for some reason - still a bit burned from 'Dark Days/Light Years' I guess - but the album continues in the breezy pop vein of 2007's 'Candylion' and is pretty solid from start to finish. (I'm personally waiting for the lo-fi follow up to 'Yr Atal Genhedlaeth' but I might be alone on that one.) It's definitely the better bet of the two, but truthfully both are probably just force of habit at this point.

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