Before the Poison

Before the Poison

"With 2005's Before the Poison, Marianne Faithfull continues to find new collaborators who fit perfectly with her foreboding sense of pop. This time out, it's PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, and Aimee Mann producer Jon Brion who help Faithfull navigate her way through a dark night of beautiful losing. She has an unmistakable voice, one that immediately adds an extra dose of gravitas to anything she contemplates. Where her previous albums with producer Hal Willner (1987's Strange Weather) and film scorer Angelo Badalamenti (1995's A Secret Life) couched Faithfull in consistently quiet, often languid settings to allow her to indulge in her most seductive purrs, Poison adds an occasional level of abrasion with the Harvey-engineered ""My Friends Have,"" where scruffy guitar chords do righteous battle and the Hal Willner-enhanced ""Desperanto"" where things turn quite tribal. Nick Cave resettles things with piano and Warren Ellis' violin for the cinematically sweeping and uplifting beauty of ""Crazy Love."" The mood is extended with an inspired pairing with Blur's Damon Albarn for the acoustic guitar, piano, and strings of ""Last Song."" "

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