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Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan 

Sunday at Devil Dirt (V2/Fontana)

Campbell, a former cellist and singer with Scottish band Belle & Sebastian, wrote, arranged and produced this album. There's a romantic and dramatic effect to Campbell's high, haunting voice harmonizing with Lanegan's low rumble (heard on solo material and via an off/on gig fronting Queens of the Stone Age). The songwriting on Sunday at Devil Dirt is barfly-poetic and the music the figurative strong-silent type. The album lacks the originality of a similar collaboration: Allison Krauss and Robert Plant's Raising Sand. In fact, the closeness to latter day Leonard Cohen ("The Raven") and others ends up taking away from the overall impact. Sean Flinn

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Vol 25, No 20
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