Marianne Faithfull - ‘Negative Capability’

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Marianne Faithfull - ‘Negative Capability’

Postby humboldt » Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:01 pm

Just played ‘Negative Capability’ for a second time. It's breathtakingly beautiful and painfully sad. Marianne is a true survivor who is also great actress of both film and stage. She will be 72 next month so this may be her last album. If it is then what a high note to go out on!

Never before has Marianne revealed so much about herself as she does on this album. She covers the spectrum of life, love, loss, loneliness, death and even terrorism. It's not an easy album to listen to but then Marianne's life has never been easy!

The deluxe version which I am reviewing has 13 tracks and the ordinary one has 10. She revisits three old recordings. 'It's All Over Now Baby Blue' from 'Rich Kid Blues' recorded in 1971 under the title 'Masques' which is her 'lost' album and wasn't released until 1985. 'Witches Song' from 1979's comeback album 'Broken English' and 'As Tears Go By' which started her career as a 17 year old. Marianne recorded it for the second time aged 40 on 1987's 'Strange Weather'. Now at 71 the lyrics take on the perspective of a life lead rather than a life to be lead. The rest of the songs are, with one exception, all new and co-written by Marianne with help from some of her long time collaborators like Nick Cave & Ed Harcourt. The 'Loneliest Person' is a cover of a Pretty Things composition from their classic 1968 album 'S.F. Sorrow'.

As I said this is Marianne stripped bare telling it like it is. Her voice, now even more fragile, is still full of passion but there was always the fear that it was going to crack and miss a note but it doesn’t. The subject matter is very dark but Marianne’s voice seemed to envelope me in a warm blanket where I felt safe from her bittersweet tales.

‘Negative Capability’ opens with ‘Misunderstanding’ a song that paves the way for the mood of the rest of the album. ‘In My Own Particular Way’ is autobiographical and ‘Born To Live’ and ‘Don’t Go’ deal with personal loss. ‘No Moon In Paris’ and ‘Loneliest Person’ are simply heartbreaking. Paris has been her home for a number of years so I can imagine her rage at the murderous attacks that took place there in 2015 and in particular at the Bataclan theatre. ‘They Come At Night’ was written about that outrage and Marianne does not hold back her anger.

I hope that this is not Marianne’s final venture into the studio but if it is then she will go out with scream not a whisper.

Long live Marianne.
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Re: Marianne Faithfull - ‘Negative Capability’

Postby Corinna » Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:12 pm

What a wonderful review, John! Thank you for taking the time to share it here.

I've seen Marianne twice in concert during the last 10-15 years, and she has a great stage presence. And of course, that wondrous voice.

It's been some time I've listened to an album of hers, but clearly, I need to check this one out!

Thanks for the heads up!
Cor xx

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Pretty as a pearl
What a pretty girl
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Re: Marianne Faithfull - ‘Negative Capability’

Postby humboldt » Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:43 pm

You're very welcome Corinna. Some tracks are already on YT. X
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Re: Marianne Faithfull - ‘Negative Capability’

Postby trek007 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:01 pm

This is getting some good reviews ...she is a survivor that's for sure and in considerable pain these days living in Paris I believe.
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Re: Marianne Faithfull - ‘Negative Capability’

Postby humboldt » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:51 pm

Marianne's hard work has paid off. 'Negative Capability' has entered the UK Top 100 album chart at #44 giving her the biggest hit since 1965! Congratulations. :rose:
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