Campbell & Lanegan Pt 2: More Beauty, Less Beast"/>
If you have any money for CDs and aren't planning to blow it all on Chinese Democracy this Sunday, might I suggest the above? In>"/>
If you have any money for CDs and aren't planning to blow it all on Chinese Democracy this Sunday, might I suggest the above? In 2006, fans of these two artists were pretty weirded out when a record was released bearing both their names titled Ballad of the Broken Seas. Isobel Campbell is the innocent-looking violist from Belle & Sebastien. Mark Lanegan, on the other hand, has black eyes, lots of tattoos, and plenty of addictions. She sings like a kitten. He growls like a demon. Needless to say, no one would've guessed they'd make a good duo. But together they weaved their way through melancholy orchestral pop, dirty country blues, and gothic balladry with eerily beautiful results. And they do it again with Sunday at Devil Dirt, which was released this week. Once again, the two reverse the usual male-female team-up in pop music. Campbell is the writer, producer, and arranger. Lanegan is the diva she lets shine. The results here follow the exact same formula as the previous album. But that's fine because the formula is all their own. Though the album is solid throughout, "Who Built the Road?" and "Keep Me In Mind, Sweetheart", are highlights for the way Lanegan's gruff, chaffy vocals rub up against her angelic little purr. On these, Lanegan comes off as damn near charming, as if Campbell might have actually gotten him to smile. They manage to recreate the classic feel of male-female duos (Lee Hazlewood/Nancy Sinatra) while turning the entire concept on its head.