<p>1. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake</p>Early-betting front-runner PJ Harvey here muses upon a nation in thrall to military endeavour, hidebound by the ghosts of its imperial past. It may be her best album yet, with songs ranging across distant battlefields, from Gallipoli to the Somme, delivered in arrangements that reflect the broken, bloody condition of both men and land: weedy guitar, wheezing sax, exhausted beats, yet still marching gamely on. One of those rare records in which meaning resides as much in the music as the words.
AFP PHOTO/STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN