P.J. Harvey

White Chalk

“Soon as I’m left alone / the devil wanders into my soul,” Polly Jean Harvey sings on “The Devil,” the opening track on her latest LP. The rough, edgy Harvey has managed to innovate her sound once again, but this time it seems more like a sorrowful surrender than an authoritative decision. Trading in her trademark electric guitar for the more delicate piano, and easing from a powerful vocal style into one that’s more ethereal, Harvey’s bruised and acquiescent soul seeps through each of the eleven tracks. Sure, the album has a few pleasant surprises, such as the drug-induced nightmare “When Under Ether,” but on the whole, one can’t help but wonder if the devil made her do it.