“It’s taken me a long time to learn, in fact my whole life so far”
Damn Marianne! This album near destroyed me.
Negative Capability seems to occupy a similar territory to some of Leonard Cohen’s last works. There’s a very conscious sense of someone staring down mortality and trying to tell us something of what they’ve learned from a long life.
Nick Cave and Ed Harcourt are perfect songwriting collaborators for Faithfull. The instrumentation is gorgeous and the songs bring out her strengths, along with a sensitive production from Head, Warren Ellis and Rob Ellis. Yes, her voice is cracked and broken, but boy, can she still put a song across.
And the songs! Faithfull’s 1965 hit ‘And Tears Go By’ has a very different resonance when sung by a 72 year-old woman (“I sit and watch the children play”) and is especially moving because we know what Hell she went through in the following years. ‘The Gypsy Faerie Queen’ is a beautiful song and Nick’s Cave’s rich backing vocals give me chills. There’s a broken-down cover of ‘It’s all over now, baby blue’. No Faithfull album would be complete without a rambling, angry, in-your-face song like ‘They Come at Night’.
One to treasure.
Lovely little video about the making of the album and interview with Faithfull here