2010: 15 of the Best. #10 . . .

December 6, 2010

#10: Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan – You Won’t Let Me Down Again

From: Hawk
Released: August 24, 2010
Label: Vanguard
Buy it: Here.

I was a huge fan of Isobel’s first release post Belle & Sebastian, the gorgeously pastoral Amorino, which gave the perfect musical accompaniment to her airy vocals. When the collaborations with Screaming Trees-man Mark Lanegan started a few years back, I paid a little less attention. Not so much because the music was worse, but because maybe a bit selfishly, I was more interested in hearing Isobel on her own rather than accompanied by a growly rocker. Nevertheless, Isobel persisted and two Lanegan collaboration albums later, Hawk has me fully appreciating their pairing. Any quick review I could give would mirror anyone else’s for Ballad of the Broken Seas, Sunday at Devil Dirt or this album in saying that while it’s strange that two polar opposite voices should sound so fabulous together, they nevertheless do. So instead of saying that (even though I already did), I’ll say this: The set of songs this time around is every bit as fantastic as their previous ones, and “You Won’t Let Me Down Again” is a brilliant earthy blues song that verges on becoming a complete shambles but maintains beautifully. If you get the chance, see Isobel and Mark live. As menacing as Mark can sound on record, it’s nothing as when he’s singing to a room full of people that seem scared sh*tless to sing along for fear that it might upset him, while Isobel almost coos along, looking innocent and angelic as you like. They put on an incredibly powerful performance, and here’s hoping to many more albums in this vein that lead to many more tours.

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