Campbell and Lanegan remind me of some of my favorite male-female musical partnerships: John Doe and Exene for the sense of desperation, Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra for the seemingly incompatible vocal tones that actually work out just right, Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips for hushed, after-dark sensibilites at work on Hawk.
Campbell's voice is little more than a coo, a cross between Phillips and Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star. Next to Lanegan's often gruff voice, Campbell sounds even more fragile, and it works to great effect, especially on songs like "Time of the Season," in which she sings, "Like a child, I gave my heart / Now why'd you have to break it?" The song could've fit in nicely in country music's early '70s landscape or Lee Hazlewood's catalog.
It's not all downcast melancholia, though. The title track, which comes halfway through the record is a twisted "Green Onions"-meets-"L.A. Blues" instrumental. And "Get Behind Me," where Lanegan takes the vocal spotlight, is a blues-y roots rocker. For you Townes Van Zandt fans, to songs, "Snake Eyes" and the aforementioned "No Place to Fall," are written by the influential late Texas songwriter.
I hope Campbell, who reportedly is the brains behind the project, and Lanegan, who is well known for his numerous collaborations, continue with this project. It's an unlikely pairing of talents, but maybe the two artists' apparent differences are what make it so good.