Marianne Faithfull

Vagabond Ways

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Following a pair of albums that delved into cabaret and one which paired her with Angelo Badalamenti (an affair that yielded mixed results), the Grande dame of rock & roll returned with her most striking effort in a while. Faithfull, an amazing interpreter of others' material, co-wrote most of the songs here, including the haunting title track. In fact, haunting is the best way to describe the first several cuts. "Incarceration of a Flower Child," written by Roger Waters, is emotionally wrenching, and "File It Under Fun From the Past" has an air of wistful resignation. Some of the material wavers a bit ("Marathon Kiss," the somewhat overly dramatic, spoke word "After the Ceasefire"), but Faithfull is never anything less than riveting. For long-time fans, Vagabond Ways is a worthy addition to her body of work. For newcomers, it's a suitable introduction to one of the true icons of rock history and one who has become more relevant with age.

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