Ballad of the Broken Seas
Label: V2 Cooperative Music
This outstanding collaboration may just be the platonic ideal played out in song. The gruff voice of Mark Lanegan, an itinerant bad boy of long standing, and the vestal purity of Isobel Campbell would seem a mismatch, but their beauty-meets-beast magnetism is a triumph of atmosphere. Lanegan's recitation of the Hank Williams classic "Ramblin' Man" somehow coexists with "Dusty Wreath," a dreamlike harpsichord number, and "It's Hard to Kill a Bad Thing," a pastoral instrumental that recalls Robert Kirby's string arrangements on Nick Drake's first two records. And they said it would never last.