Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan
Hawk - Vanguard
FILTER Grade: 70%
By Kurt Orzeck on September 14, 2010
Well, that was nice while it lasted. Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan have had a fling for a few years now, conceiving two gorgeous collections: 2006’s heart-haunting Ballad of the Broken Seas and the smoldering slice that was 2008’s Sunday at Devil Dirt. But with Hawk, it appears that their well of mutual romantic sorrow has run dry. Unlike their two previous efforts, which were affixed to bluesy folk, this one attempts to corral 13 songs that have virtually nothing to do with each other—musically, lyrically or otherwise. In fact, it’s hard to even involve this record in the same conversation as the previous two collaborations: Five of the songs don’t feature Lanegan’s vocals, and when Willy Mason shows up to sing two of them, it’s a wonder why Hawk wasn’t more truthfully labeled as “Isobel Campbell & Friends.” Thematically deficient throughout, this is an outtakes release at best.