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Before the Poison
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Of course, this has changed dramatically with the release of Before The Poison. This album reveals Faithfull's talent and depth of emotion more than anything in a long time, perhaps harking back as far as Broken English.
It is, actually, an interesting paradox, that she can sound so authentically herself although most of the great songs in this CD have been written by other people, and in some cases -No Child Of Mine and Last Song- recorded by their authors before this album was even planned.
Whereas Kissin' Time, her album prior to this, also counted on a host of great writers -Beck, Jarvis Cocker and Billy Corgan- this one takes the promise of those collaborations to a higher, more intense level.
Eight of the ten songs included here are written or co-written by Nick Cave or PJ Harvey, and the chemistry between them and Ms. Faithfull is stunning.
Harvey's The Mystery Of Love and In The Factory could have been included in Uh Huh Her, yet sung by Marianne they were worth saving for this record. In them you'll find the same fierce vulnerability that Harvey's latest exuded. Of course, Child Of Mine -which was included in Uh Huh Her- deserves the same praise, as Faithfull's weathered and wise voice carves new truths out of it.
No less impressive is Cave's work. There Is A Ghost and Crazy Love must be counted among Cave's most accomplished ballads, as touching and solemnly vulnerable as the best of Boatman's Call.
Last but not least, her version of Damon Albarn's Last Song is equally impressive.Read more ›
This is one of the most honest CDs ever recorded. Most of it, co-written with PJ Harvey and Nick Cave, illustrate they certainly understand Ms. Faithfull's unique vocal texture, colorful musical pedigree, and general perspective on life. Production is appropriately sparse and allows her voice to occupy center stage.
The sound is some blend of very late-night blues with cabaret/broadway. What we get for investing a listen is genuine, never cheesy, mature outlooks on love, complete with all its mysteries, uncertainties, and hopes.
The range of songs is spectacular. I'm knocked out with "My Friends Have" and "Desperanto," which couldn't be more polar tunes. "Crazy Love" and "The Mystery of Love" are also standouts.
I'll be listening to this CD repeatedly for a long, long time. And what more could I ever ask an artist to do?
The first song "The Mystery Of Love" is a pretty little song that is more in the usual Marianne Faithfull vein, but the second one, "My Friends Have", could have been a PJ Harvey rocker. Very nice indeed - short, sweet, rocking, and you get that unmistakable PJ Harvey background vocal effect too; both of these songs were written by PJ herself. "Crazy Love" has music by Nick Cave and lyrics by Faithfull, it's a nice storytelling piano-driven tune with gorgeous fiddle in the middle. "Last Song", written by Damon Alborn, is a beautiful guitar tune, and you really get Marianne's gorgeous voice full on, with spooky piano kicking in mid-way. Not sure the orchestration was really necessary, though... "No Child Of Mine" is a cool little guitar and piano tune, very spooky, but it quickly gets quite dramatic, with plenty of percussion. "Before The Poison" is largely a guitar song, with some percussion, and very melancholic. It also rocks!! "There is a Ghost" is a fantastic Nick Cave track that sounds like an outtake from "And No More Shall We Part", probably his best album, so this is a very nice "forgotten" find for Bad Seeds fans.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Okay, I really believe this cd is a 3.5 but went to the higher four stars. I have to draw a comparison to Broken English in that this cd does not even come close to the brilliance... Read morePublished on December 5, 2012 by BRIANNA
Before the Poison being a colaboration with PJ Harvey and Nick Cave and the end result is nothing short of magnificient. Read morePublished on December 15, 2009 by Bjorn Viberg
It takes a long time to get a voice like Marianne has, ans a lot of Living.
She uses it well on this cd, and I really can't get My Friends Have out of my head. Read more
Anthony Rupert get's it wrong below. I am not a Marianne Faithfull fan really, I don't know that I have every even listened to a full Marianne Faithfull album before. Read morePublished on June 11, 2007 by Bob Estes
Although melancholic, the album is better than "Broken English" - has very defined melodies matching quality singing. Worth every penny. Read morePublished on April 10, 2007 by Golovanov Alexey
The combination of Marianne Faithfull's voice with PJ Harvey and Nick Cave's lyrics and music is the perfect combination - starting immediately with the first track. Read morePublished on January 10, 2007 by S. J.
In Marianne's book Memories, Dreams and Reflections, the chapter Mind Movies discusses the songs & musicians on this album where she collaborates extensively with PJ Harvey and... Read morePublished on February 10, 2006 by Peter Uys
I have loved Marianne Faithfull forever. Indeed, my introduction to her was her (self-described "classic f-up" on Saturday Night Live). Read morePublished on January 21, 2006 by K. M. Kem-Thomas