With every PJ Harvey album comes the certainty of a transformation in both sound and image, and 'White Chalk' ranks as her most striking in both.

Looking on the cover like she belongs in the Victorian era, Harvey has also taken her music back in time - so much so that you feel like you should be listening on a 78 player.

The electric guitars have been replaced by a piano and other acoustic instruments and the results are unsettling - listen to this and Harvey's last record 'Uh Huh Her' back to back and you have to remind yourself it's the same artist.

This is very much a mood album: it needs to be listened to straight through - the short running time facilitates this - and it will make more sense if it is.

Losing herself and you in a spooky and sad atmosphere, 'White Chalk' has all the intensity and ingenuity of Harvey's other works with none of the volume. But somehow you still find your ears ringing by the end of it.

Harry Guerin