Before the Poison

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Possessing one of the most distinctive voices in rock, Marianne Faithfull is the kind of singer who makes songwriters all but drool over the prospect of working with her. She's proven a remarkable foil for many folks over the years, from Mick Jagger to Billy Corgan to Robert Wilson, and this time around, she joins forces with PJ Harvey and Nick Cave, both of whom are totally conversant in the language of bleak beauty that Faithfull speaks so fluently. (Other songs are penned by Blur's Damon Albarn and Aimee Mann collaborator Jon Brion.) Harvey, who handles much of the disc's production, puts her imprint on several of the songs, lacing them with the sort of taut guitar ...
See more details below
CD
$15.64
BN.com price
(Save 13%)$17.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (CD)
  • All (8) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $11.98   
  • Used (3) from $1.99   

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Possessing one of the most distinctive voices in rock, Marianne Faithfull is the kind of singer who makes songwriters all but drool over the prospect of working with her. She's proven a remarkable foil for many folks over the years, from Mick Jagger to Billy Corgan to Robert Wilson, and this time around, she joins forces with PJ Harvey and Nick Cave, both of whom are totally conversant in the language of bleak beauty that Faithfull speaks so fluently. (Other songs are penned by Blur's Damon Albarn and Aimee Mann collaborator Jon Brion.) Harvey, who handles much of the disc's production, puts her imprint on several of the songs, lacing them with the sort of taut guitar lines and white-knuckle mood shifts that mark her own work -- particularly the tense "My Friends Have." Cave, on the other hand, seems eager to defer to Faithfull, accentuating her bruised delivery with raw, windswept austerity (on "There Is a Ghost") or sheer sonic bedlam (the edge-of-sanity chantey "Desperanto"), with musical muscle provided by most of the Bad Seeds. These two tunes gain added heft from Hal Willner's production, which draws out the singer's torchier tendencies without egging her on to full-on cabaret moments. As is her wont, Faithfull switches gears completely toward the end, throwing open the otherwise hermetically sealed environment for a performance of Jon Brion's "City of Quartz," which wafts through the air like an urbane lullaby. Poisonous? Perhaps, but what a way to go.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
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.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/25/2005
  • Label: Anti
  • UPC: 045778673223
  • Catalog Number: 86732
  • Sales rank: 101,498

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Mystery Of Love (3:51)
  2. 2 My Friends Have (2:49)
  3. 3 Crazy Love (4:04)
  4. 4 Last Song (3:19)
  5. 5 No Child Of Mine (6:15)
  6. 6 Before The Poison (4:09)
  7. 7 There Is A Ghost (4:33)
  8. 8 In The Factory (3:50)
  9. 9 Desperanto (4:23)
  10. 10 City Of Quartz (3:42)
Read More Show Less

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Marianne Faithfull Primary Artist, Vocals, Hand Clapping
PJ Harvey Synthesizer, Bass, Guitar, Piano, Keyboards, Background Vocals, Hand Clapping, Slide Bass
Adrian Utley Synthesizer, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Sampling, Toy Piano
Rob Ellis Percussion, Piano, Drums, Glockenspiel, Hand Clapping, Vibes
Andy Nice Cello
Diana Gutkind Piano
Catherine Browning Violin
Luigi DUrso Handwriting
Technical Credits
Nick Cave Composer, Producer, Engineer
Marianne Faithfull Composer
PJ Harvey Composer, Producer
Damon Albarn Composer
Jon Brion Composer
Martyn Casey Engineer
Warren Ellis Engineer
Hal Willner Producer
John Dent Mastering
William Lee Self Liner Notes
Rob Ellis Sound Effects, Producer, String Arrangements
Rik Simpson Engineer
Takeo Komatsuzaki Liner Notes
James Sclavunos Engineer
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously