Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan, 'Hawk' (Vanguard)

Critical Mass
Label: Vanguard

by Marc Hogan

Isobel Campbell wrote and produced nearly all the songs on her previous two collaborations with former Screaming Trees/Queens of the Stone Age growler Mark Lanegan, and this time, the ex–Belle and Sebastian singer-cellist takes complete control of the album's direction. Yet her wispy voice recedes further into the background, as the genial creak of folk-pop prodigy Willy Mason complements Lanegan's foreboding rumble, and James Iha lends tastefully bluesy guitar. Overall, Hawk faithfully follows its predecessors' dusty Americana blueprint, trading a standout Hank Williams cover for two by Townes Van Zandt.



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