Long-time PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish was in charge of all the music on this outing, leaving Harvey to concentrate purely on the vocals. This shapes the results less than you might think, since Parish is still writing for her idiosyncratic voice and Harvey is still, well, Harvey.
First the good news. The two of them sound like they're having loads of fun, creepy and dark as it may be. For a welcome change, Harvey appears not to be over-thinking as much, and this is a good thing. Unfortunately, that casual quality holds this disc back.
They're having so much fun trying different ideas that the album seems more like a collection of B-sides than a proper outing. The more out-there moments are uncomfortably close to self-parody, and the attempts at big rock songs sound woefully out of place amidst all the weirdness. The overall level of creativity bodes well for Harvey's next proper solo outing, but this one is a mixed bag.
Top track: A Woman A Man Walked By/The Crow Knows Where All The Little Children Go