* *

It seems Faithfull's peculiar magnetism is as strong as ever. With almost all of her previous three albums of the past decade collaboration-heavy affairs, here she's extended the guest list so much she's emerged with an 18-track double album that includes appearances by Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright, Keith Richards, Anthony Hegarty, Sean Lennon, Jarvis Cocker, Chan Marshall and Teddy Thompson.

Song-wise, she and producer Hal Wilner- who helmed her 1987 covers-heavy


Strange Weather

- have constructed a very assorted set of songs. The combination of both lists brings a very mixed result.

Faithfull's voice still has plenty of creaky character but it sure isn't a good fit for the likes of Smokey Robinson's

Ooh Baby Baby, Somewhere (A Place for Us)


West Side Story

, or Duke Ellington's




Still, she manages to find another layer of misery in Morrissey's

Dear God Please Help Me

and Merle Haggard's

Sing Me Back Home


Possibly would have been better as a single disc, but as it is, this comes on too much like a


solo album for comfort.

Russell Baillie