The usually reserved Belle and Sebastian are in the middle of a veritable lather of industry, with the recent live album of If You're Feeling Sinister soon to be followed by both an album of their favourite tracks and a new B&S album proper. Besides this, Isobel Campbell is releasing this spin-off pairing her sweet, honeyed vocals with the deeper, smokier delivery of Mark Lanegan. The results are akin to that murder-ballad collaboration by Nick Cave and Kylie, or before that, the Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood duets: there's the same sense of innocence and experience in mutually suspicious alliance on tracks like "The False Husband" and "(Do You Wanna) Come Walk With Me?", a naive waltz that sounds like something Jack White might have cooked up for the Cold Mountain soundtrack. Lanegan's sepia baritone acquires a fresh sense of purpose when set against Campbell's hushed cooing, with melancholy cello and hapless guitar further staining the title track. Most striking is a Tom Waits-ian version of Hank Williams's "Ramblin' Man", to which Campbell has added a whispered vocal counterpoint and a whistled break.
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