Marianne Faithfull- Broken English Review

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Marianne Faithfull- Broken English Review

Postby » Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:20 am

[center]Marianne Faithfull- Broken English[/center]


This is an album to send shivers up your spine. It makes your hands shake, your mouth dry and captures your attention like a punch in the stomach. It is not only fantastic, it is breathtaking.

Marianne Faithfull, or Mrs. Mick Jagger as she was known throughout the 60s and 70s, takes her public persona and stamps on it in this violent attack on passiveness and mediocrity. She takes the image of her as a teenager singing As Tears Go By as sweetly as a choir girl and spits on it, right from the back of her throat, with this grimy, electrify and utterly individual piece of work. Marianne Faithfull is dead. Long live Marianne Faithfull.

This tour-de-force consists only of 8 songs, but each one is filled with such an intense energy that the album feels epic. The title track, Broken English, is a bluesy sonata that deals with the breakdown in communication and values in civilisation. Why D’ya Do It? encapsulates the very essence of a broken heart; it is a vicious attack on the cheater by the cheated. Brain Drain is a melancholy, reflective pool of a song. It numbs you into submission and, as it plays, the world around you seems pale.
However, as glorious as these songs are, they are simply framing to the masterpiece that is The Ballad of Lucy Jordan. This is not to negate the importance of the aforementioned, simply to attempt to describe the genius of this track. Telling the story of a housewife lamenting her unlived life, the track is both a deeply personal metaphor for Faithfull’s life but a universal exploration of us all. It attacks suburban values, it attacks stability, it attacks the lives that we are all tempted to live. It speaks to you like a fog horn, rattling your mind around in your skull. It is not only the best song on a terrific album, it is one of the greatest songs ever written.

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