28 March 2006

isobel campbell & mark lanegan - "the false husband" (from the ballad of the broken seas lp, available for purchase here.)

the theme here is unlikeliness, beginning w/ the two names paired off above. it continues : i never followed either of them in their main gigs before, and made out a habit out of skipping isobel's b&s songs, but "the false husband" makes me want to seek out the gentle waves and reacquaint myself w/ screaming trees.

"the false husband" is a magnificent tale--tale is the apposite word more so than song, like some morality play in a 19th century american frontier town. what campbell does for lanegan is obvious--beauty & the beast, &c.--but what lanegan does for campbell is far more beneficial and, i'd have thought, impossible. isobel, through lanegan's interest, becomes mysterious and a figure worth pursuing. that one can barely hear her whisper through the string section only enhances her allure.

to put it another way, nancy got a lot more out of lee, at least musically, than vice versa. if "the false husband" were one of their duets, it'd have the gravitas and strum of "down from dover" w/ the opening strings from "some velvet morning" overlaid. yes, unlikely as it might seem, that good.

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