Marianne Faithfull Vagabond Ways

Once every ten years or so, Marianne Faithfull hooks up with the right producer and the right material to come up with a classic album of spooky songs worthy of her torchy talent. Five years after her disappointing hook-up with David Lynch collaborator Angelo Badalamenti, Vagabond Ways fits perfectly beside 1979's Broken English and 1987's Strange Weather. There are plenty of Canuck contributions: producer Mark Howard (the Tragically Hip's Day For Night) helms the proceedings; Daniel Lanois contributes three tracks, his studio and his guitar playing; and Leonard Cohen's "Tower of Song" gets a relatively zippy treatment that serves the song's humour. Faithfull's rep as a master interpreter is secured when she manages to make even an Elton John song ("For Wanting You") sound creepy. If she makes more albums like this, she won't have to resort to duets with Metallica to pay the bills. (Instinct)