Sunday, February 19, 2006

Ballad of the broken ballads

I tend to get a bit sensitive when it comes to Mark Lanegan. With him being one of my most favorite, most favored and total faint-causing artist to ever walk the earth, I find myself quite restless when he surrounds himself with females. I would rather see him working up close and personal with Mike Johnson again, for instance. Let's face it - I would rather see him gay (... and not the smiling type).

When he worked with P.J Harvey on his last LP Bubblegum, they had something really special going on. They both have a rough edge to their voices and style, and they've made a beautiful couple. Musically speaking.

Enter Isobell Campbell, ex-Belle and Sebastian and Gentle Waves. Isobell seems to represent the tender and sweet side of the music map, and has a history of cute indie-pop making. Personally, this type of music and style isn't exactly my cup of tea, but I thought it would be a nice idea to combine the deep throat of Lanegan and the candy one of Campbell. Well, I was wrong. "Ballad of the broken Seas" is a nice folk/delicate rock album, yet it lacks the power of a true collaboration. It doesn't sound like an album that supposed to be the fruit of two artist's work - since Campbell's presence is very, very pale and almost disappearing underneath Lanegan's voice, which may sound a bit tender at times, but not enough - NOT THAT HE NEEDS TO.

I don't find this collaboration a good idea at all. All I ever got from this album is an unpretentious Lanegan release, with some background singing and musical passages from a very delicate, TOO delicate presence-less female singer. I hope the next collaboration of Lanegan, if ever, will be with Fiona Apple. As for Campbell - I believe dough-boy to be a great option. "Hee-hee!"

Click here to watch the video for "Ramblin' man".


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