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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

434 of 1001 Albums: Marianne Faithfull's Broken English

Marianne Faithfull would release her most popular album Broken English to controversy and fame. It does have a very interesting sound, and for females you'll be hearing words spoken for what I know is the earliest I've heard a woman use as strong as language. I'm sure it occurred earlier, but the attitude you get on the cover art is the attitude you get inside the album.

History: The album would be welcomed by critics upon it's release, and hit charts as well. It would also cause controversy with it's lyrics, particularly in the song where a lover is caught in infidelity, and the singer depicts how she will punish him. The lyrics also go on to explore other themes such as those about a housewife who is Catholic, and most are a personal reflection of the singer.


Vocals: Faithfull's vocals were drastically changed by drug abuse, so this did provide a whole departure in sound for this album where she would change up most of the folk basis of her music. Her vocals were definitely rawer, and in some ways it does work for a lot of songs. On "Broken English" her vocals take some getting use to. They don't conform to trying to sound perfect, and follow their own pitch and range to make for at least a very recognizable voice.

Instrumentals: Fans would also notice a difference between the folk and acoustic sound as she mixes in a lot more of the late 70's music, and the sounds that would carry music into the 80's. There is a bit of rock mixed in, but also new wave which was new on the scene. It would take the electric guitar sounds and mix them with the synthesizer. I think it mixes well though with the folk sound that is what she was based in though, and makes for a natural progression.

Recording: The music recorded in the 70's has some of the most distinct sounds, and you can rarely go wrong with them. Even with this album that isn't strongly my taste I found songs like "Guilt" to be a nice listen. There is a lot of emotion, and the album is going more than to just allure attention, but also express some own personal feelings of the artist singing.

I wasn't sure what to expect with Broken English, and while some of the album I didn't like there were some songs that I will be checking out again. Faithfull presents a lot of attitude on this album through the lyrics and just her presentation. It's one of the album of the 70's that you might not have heard of that is at least worth checking out.

Rating 7.5 of 10.


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