CD Before the Poison [Marianne Faithfull] [045778673223] (CD 347392),
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Before the Poison [Marianne Faithfull] [045778673223]

  • 1. Mystery of Love, The
    2. My Friends Have
    3. Crazy Love
    4. Last Song
    5. No Child of Mine
    6. Before the Poison
    7. There Is a Ghost
    8. In the Factory
    9. Desperanto
    10. City of Quartz
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 86732

  • Credits
    ProducerPJ Harvey; Nick Cave; Hal Willner

    Personnel: Marianne Faithfull (vocals); Nick Cave (vocals); PJ Harvey (guitar, synthesizer, bass instrument); Adrian Utley (guitar, bass instrument); Rob Ellis (piano, glockenspiel, drums).
    Since 1979's BROKEN ENGLISH, when she began writing and performing original material in a moody, emotionally stark vein, Marianne Faithfull's image as a glamorous, '60s music-biz pop star has undergone serious revision. This album completes the transformation. Full of beautiful, honest songs and emotionally harrowing performances, BEFORE THE POISON is Faithfull at her most compelling and undeniable. Her husky, cracked voice, which has plenty of experience built into it, is applied to great effect here, with a world-weary edge that is part artsong, part blues, and part alternative rock.
    This last appellation is apt given the nature of Faithfull's collaborations. Nick Cave wrote three of the songs, including the desperately melancholic "There Is a Ghost," while composer/multi-instrumentalist Jon Brion and Blur's Damon Albarn (whose "Last Song" is one of the album's highlights) contribute a track each. But the strongest presence is PJ Harvey, who wrote the rest of the album, and also contributes guitar and backing vocals. Faithfull and Harvey make a great team, with the wisdom and texture of the former's voice fleshing out the latter's biting lyrics and icy angles. BEFORE THE POISON adds up to a poetic, deeply affecting experience, an album that weighs in as one of Faithfull's finest achievements yet.

  • Critic Reviews
    Entertainment Weekly (p.84) - "[I]t's PJ Harvey who serves up the meat of the CD. Her raw, blues-tinged tracks greedily indulge Faithfull's exquisitely tattered voice..." - Grade: B+
    Uncut (p.78) - Ranked #54 in Uncut's "Best New Albums of 2004" - "[H]er best record since BROKEN ENGLISH."
    Magnet (p.96) - "[T]he real surprise is Faithfull's paring with Polly Harvey....Their collaborations have all her characteristic torment, but Faithfull gives them a new sense of gravitas, a world-weariness that sharpens her anger to a knife's edge."
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