Marianne Faithfull always has her finger on the pulse of who’s cool.

The grand dame of rock ‘n’ roll is back with another collaboration with famed record producer Hal Willner. After first hooking up on Lost in the Stars (1985) and then on the classic pop/jazz covers album Strange Weather (1987), the pair keeps the covers tradition alive on Easy Come, Easy Go, which features a song selection from many contemporary writers, duet partners, and musicians. Notable tracks include Dolly Parton’s 'Down from Dover,' a heartbreaking story fit for Faithfull’s dramatic vocal delivery; a rockin’ version of Neko Case’s 'Hold On, Hold On,' featuring Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power) and Sean Lennon; and Billie Holiday’s 'Solitude.' Always one with her finger on the pulse of who’s cool, Faithfull brilliantly covers Espers’ 'Children of Stone,' though my fave track is her duet with Antony Hegarty—who may be her best singing partner since David Bowie—on Smokey Robinson’s 'Ooo Baby Baby.' The band ensemble here is smokin’, and old pro Willner knows just how to accentuate Faithfull’s unmistakable vocal rasp.


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