Marianne Faithfull Kissin' Time

The grande dame - it's a tragedy that Jagger got a knighthood and she got nothing - takes a new journey into her heart of darkness. But like the cougar she is, Faithfull has coaxed some fine young lads to accompany her this time, the results ranging from plodding disco to some truly moving recreations of her chamber pop sound of the mid-'60s. Oddly enough, Beck can take credit for each - on the unfortunate opener "Sex With Strangers" and later redeeming himself on "Like Being Born." Their collaboration really clicks on a desolate cover of "Nobody's Fault," from Mutations, which provides a tempting glimpse of what a full album of such efforts might sound like. However, we have to sit through a handful of mechanical tracks with Billy Corgan to get there. Those aside, the rest of the album moves from strength to strength, highlights being "Song For Nico," sung as if Faithfull were her guardian angel, and "Sliding Through Life On Charm," a typically cheeky observation from Pulp's Jarvis Cocker ("Mister, you've finally met your match/Now everyone wants to kiss my snatch"). The only real disappointment - why not another track with Metallica? (Virgin)