Easy Come Easy Go (Decca)
Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., April 3, 2009
Marianne FaithfullEasy Come Easy Go (Decca)
The Hal Willner-produced Easy Come Easy Go isn't all-star nostalgia. Rather, it places Marianne Faithfull in a cultural context. Neko Case's "Hold On Hold On," redone as a duet with Chan Marshall, reminds us of Faithfull's influence on Case, Marshall, and a whole generation of women and musicians who came of age on 1960s/1970s/1980s rock & roll. The songs are also cyclical: Espers' psych-folk "Children of Stone" and Brian Eno's dreamy "How Many Worlds" are decades apart yet completely malleable under Faithfull's gaze. Old flame Keith Richards helps Faithfull revisit Merle Haggard's "Sing Me Back Home," and she and Antony Hegarty revamp "Ooh Baby Baby." A great backing band adds sheen to the set, including guitarist Marc Ribot, who lends the English singer's version of "Solitude" a sublime slide. She doesn't pull off every song, of course; "The Crane Wife 3" sounds as drab as the Decemberists' original, even with Nick Cave, and Randy Newman's "In Germany Before the War" is still a downer. Faithfull's voice is too witchy for some selections – that limited vocal range is the album's downside – but she nonetheless delivers indie standards with timeless emotion, poise, and grace.