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BEFORE THE POISON

Before The Poison


Each time Marianne Faithfull issues a recording, fans and pundits hold their breaths waiting for another outing as iconoclastic as Broken English. Before the Poison isn't it for a number of reasons, quality not being one of them. Simply put, Before the Poison is an album that concerns itself with both sides of love, friendship, and redemption, not desolation or desperation. That said, there is plenty of human shadow in these ten songs. Polly Harvey wrote three songs here, co-wrote a pair with Faithfull, and is present on all of them. Nick Cave co-wrote three with the singer and his Bad Seeds back her on these tracks. She also co-wrote one apiece with Blur's Damon Albarn and composer Jon Brion. Along with Harvey and Cave, Rob Ellis and Hal Willner aided in production. Therefore, Before the Poison, like its predecessor, Kissin' Time, is an album of collaborations. But unlike that offering, this one is seamless; its songs are sequenced impeccably and all feel of a piece linked by emotional thematics. Harvey's songs are all moving and beautiful. Faithfull's reading of "No Child of Mine," a track that appeared on PJ's own last album, Uh Huh Her, has more depth and texture than the original. Harvey is pushing it on, underneath, her signature guitar sound ushering in each line as Faithfull -- in fantastic voice throughout -- does a call and response with herself until the refrain, when Harvey harmonizes and adds dimension to the stark loss and resignation uttered with great empathy and even tenderness. On "The Mystery of Love," which opens the set, Faithfull brings the weight of her life experience to Harvey's poetic lyric and opens its fathomless heart. On Cave's "Crazy Love," the lyric could have accompanied the footage in Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire. As Faithfull paints the skeletal portraits of the song's protagonists who move around the chessboard of life, she gets to the refrain where the tune splits wide and, as Warren Ellis' raggedly elegant violin sweeps above the rest, the singers offers a poetic truth from her own life: "Crazy love is all around me/Love is crazy, love is kind/But I know somehow you'll find me/Love is crazy, love is blind." On Albarn's "Last Song," possibility has passed into memory amid the swell of strings, tambourines, and acoustic pianos. It's a devastating track, and Faithfull sings with an authority that can only be borne by a witness. The disc closes with "City of Quartz," written with Brion. It's a fractured, slightly off-kilter waltz that could have easily appeared on Blazing Away or even as an outtake from 20th Century Blues. The notion of time's passage is in the present tense here, as strings enter amid the chimes underscoring longing, and the acceptance of human need. Before the Poison is poetic and unnerving; it stands alone in her catalog in the same way that Broken English did -- but this time, on the other side of the mirror. ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi

  • Condition: Used - Good
    HPB condition ratings
    • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
    • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
    • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
    • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
    • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
    • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
    Conditions Guide
  • Format: Compact Disc
  • Sold by: HPB Huebner Road
  • Seller rating:
  • Label: Anti (USA)
  • UPC: 045778673223


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Track listings

  • 1. Mystery Of Love, The
  • 2. My Friends Have
  • 3. Crazy Love
  • 4. Last Song
  • 5. No Child Of Mine
  • 6. Before The Poison
  • 7. There Is A Ghost
  • 8. In The Factory
  • 9. Desperanto
  • 10. City Of Quartz
 
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
  • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
  • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
  • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
  • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
Conditions Guide
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