CD Review: Isobel Campbell


Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan
Ballad of the Broken Seas
V2

If you had to put a visual representation to this unlikely collaboration of former Belle and Sebastian cellist/vocalist Isobel Campbell and ex-Screaming Tree singer Mark Lanegan, it would be like “Beauty and the Beast.” Yet the juxtaposition of Campbell’s ethereal voice and Lanegan’s weary, brow-beaten singing match perfectly well on this collaborative project. Ballad of the Broken Seas evoke a lush, country folk-inspired feel that recalls Serge Gainsbourg and Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood, even if the lyrics and the music are bleak and melancholic, particularly the title track. Certain tracks like the pretty instrumental “It’s Hard to Kill a Bad Thing,” the poppish “Honey Child What Can I Do?” stand out as well as a randy cover of Hank Williams “Ramblin’ Man” (complete with the sound of an actual whip). The album may be Campbell’s baby (she produced and wrote most of the album’s material) but Lanegan’s hold his own through his dark yet magnetic performance.

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