Review of Marianne Faithfull's album 'Easy Come Easy Go'.
Easy Come Easy Go,
Marianne Faithfull, was one of the most fashionable and hip teenagers of her generation. It would be unjust to compare her to Kate Moss although the similarities between the bedding musicians, taking drugs, setting fashion trends and being publicly and unashamedly hounded for her struggles with addiction are awfully similar. It's hard to think with an open mind about her as a performer, due to the myths and rumours that surround her.
Was she just the groupie of all groupies, who was on the edges of a scene that she infiltrated? Was she as many an aged rocker from the 60's may allude to, a muse, a performer, a friend and at times a foe? I personally have always struggled to decide conclusively, but I always find myself leaning towards the latter as her longevity and determination as a performer shows dedication to the craft that other famous "IT girls" of the same era never persevered with. Most found young musicians or music executives and settled for domesticity and stepfordness no doubt. Marianne Faithfull's back catalogue is in double figures and she has a musical career spanning back to 1964 with humble folk origins. Easy Come Easy Go is Marianne Faithfull's latest album which sees her working with Hal Willner for the first time since Strange Weather in 1987.
You can see that Faithfull has used her connections to pull together old friends and allies to come along and work with her on this project as collaborations include Rufus Wainwright, Antony Hegarty, Chan Marshall, Sean Lennon, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Jarvis Cocker, Nick Cave and Keith Richards and their influence is felt on the tracks they contribute too. It's a double album with eighteen songs in total with a DVD documentary about the making and conception of the album, which is a nice little addition. It's also nice to see Faithfull still maintains the same cosmic sparkle she had many years ago in her performances. Easy Come Easy Go has a smorgasbord of styles, from the blues, to Jazz, Soul, RnB, rock n roll and pop. There are songs that are slightly hammed up such as a Dolly Parton song Down From Dover and a Morrissey number Dear God Please Help me and some really gentle Jazz tracks like Duke Ellington's Solitude which has been done most famously by Billie Holiday. Faithfull guided by Wilner has chosen a great selection for her Tom Waits esq gravelly tone and an old Smokey Robinson song, Ooh Baby Baby delivered with the vibrancy of the Honey combs version is a wonderfully haunting asexual duet with Anthony, from Anthony and the Johnsons and this proves to be an insightful coupling. Aside from the Vocals the instrumental solos and overall feeling of the music on this album really build a blanket for Faithfull to lay down her voice. There are some lazy song choices such as Somewhere (a place for us) which has weird backing vocals that sound reminiscent of Lou Reed from Jarvis Cocker. It's clear that Wilner has tried to show the diversity and musical love that Faithfull possesses and the music she has chosen for this album is befitting. I do find myself struggling for more adjectives than nice though. I mean, it's a nice album and I can imagine that a vast majority of people who have any ideas about Faithfull's work past or present would probably listen to Easy Come Easy Go and not be that shocked. It's easy to listen too and it is a selection of some really interesting songs, which are nicely arranged. But, there is that word again. I cant help it. There is no drama or intrigue surrounding her other than that intended in the orchestration. In fact, it pretty much does what it says on the tin. Easy come, Easy go!