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Isobel Campbell
Milk White Sheets

There is a French version of Little Red Riding Hood in which the wolf tricks the girl into eating her grandmother, calls her (LRRH) a slut, and then eats her. This must be the version Isobel Campbell grew up with. Milk White Sheets, her new LP, is as dark as it is lovely and traipses through the forest like the grimmest fairy tale, all too aware of what it is up to.

Sheets appears eight months after Campbell’s ethereal collaboration with Mark Lanegan, Ballad of the Broken Seas, just as impressive and somehow more haunting, an exercise in understatement. The percussion is minimal but persistent, the bass resounding but laconic and the acoustic guitar can be rebellious but refined.

Campbell’s vocals are, all else aside, the reason to show up: Throatily whispered, often unintelligible, innocent as church and intimate as the grave, she sounds like she’s singing to you. If she died and became music she couldn’t be more stunning.

Release date: November 7, 2006
Label: V2
Rating: 8.0 / 10

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