Even the title of this new album hints at the decadent grandeur Marianne Faithfull has instilled in her music since the landmark Broken English heralded a career rebirth just over 30 years ago.
Horses And High Heels
The queen of troubled torch returns.
Now in her 65th year, she continues to relish her image as a sinister but bewitching cabaret madame, the croak of her voice cradling an extraordinary collection of songs.
Faithfull has a talent for trawling disaparate sources for material and making just about everything she touches her own; Dusty Springfield’s Goin’ Back becomes an almost funereal surrender, and she brings a touch of sleazy voodoo soul to Jackie Lomax’s No Reason. Most chilling is her melodramatic soliloquy on The Shangri-Las’ spoken-word masterpiece Past, Present And Future.
Of the four-self-written songs, Why Did We Have To Part? comes across as a macabre folk reel about the end of an affair, remorse and revenge battling for control.
Famous friends (Lou Reed, Wayne Kramer, Dr John) lend a hand here and there, but it’s Faithfull who is forever the mistress of ceremonies, a siren luring the listener towards unsettling emotional debris.