Marianne Faithfull is--after 38 years in music--still more famous for whom she had sex with in the 1960s than for her talents as singer and lyricist. Her 11th album, Kissin' Time, uses her wise and angry knowledge of this unjust state of affairs, and comes up smelling not of roses, but stale perfume, spilt gin and sex. The result is her best-ever album. Comprising collaborations with the likes of Beck, Blur, Pulp, The Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan and The Eurythmics' Dave Stewart, Kissin' Time takes in everything from spiky electro-pop (Beck's superb "Sex with Strangers") to Tom Waits-lite (Blur's rather self-conscious title track), by way of "Song for Nico"'s no-punches-pulled ballad tribute to the late Velvet Underground chanteuse, and the magnificent "Sliding Through Life on Charm", where Pulp's rousing anthemics provide the perfect backdrop for Ms Faithfull's hilariously filthy autobiographical defiance. Faithfull's cracked cabaret growl and painfully personal lyrics remain an acquired taste. But, if you can deal with a middle-aged woman's sexual and emotional honesty, and the album's deliberately eclectic tunes and textures, then Kissin' Time is a classic of bold, bitter and elegantly profane pop art. --Garry Mulholland
First album in well over two years by the veteran rocker. Features collaborations & contributions, in varying forms that range from writing to producing to performing, from an illustrious & diverse line-up of Faithfull devotees that includes Beck, Damon Albarn of Blur, Jarvis Cocker of Pulp, Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins & Etienne Daho. No U.S. release is scheduled. 2002.