24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
La Belle et la Bete,
This review is from: Ballad of the Broken Seas (Audio CD)
Who would have expected it in 2006 Belle & Sebastian and ex-member of Belle & Sebastian Isobel Campbell both release albums and the one that grabs most attention is Campbell's. This girl used to be written off as twee but there's nothing twee about this record. From the cover photos and through the songs Isobel twists and plays with the normal preconceptions of male-female roles in music and relationships. Her unexpected partner for this project Lanegan sounds like a younger and sexier Tom Waits and allows Isobel to call the shots and pull the strings.
Okay you can say it's all just an imitation of Nancy & Lee and be cynical if you want but it goes somewhere else. It succeeds where Nick Cave and Kylie's bad Nancy & Lee pastiche failed because the songs are good enough and there's something new here. It's a darker and dirtier take on what Hazelwood did with Sinatra.
Isobel's take on Hank Williams's Ramblin' Man is up there with the best and most unexpected versions of the king of country's songs. If you want a cute little summer day record this is not for you but if you want a record that is darkly sexy, inventive and unexpected you should grab hold of it.