Marianne Faithfull albums live or die by the success of her collaborations and producers. Her records have been inconsistent over the decades, except for the sing-speak-croak style she's employed since her late 70s re-emergence. Recently, she's worked with a lot of next-generation names, yet Horses And High Heels is a less contemporary album, calling on old friends Lou Reed and Dr. John for cameos.
Hal Willner returns after producing 2008's Easy Come, Easy Go and puts her in a New Orleans setting, possibly in hopes that it'll stir up some mojo. The results are borderline disastrous, specifically her cover of Allen Toussaint's Back In Baby's Arms and Gee Baby, both of which emphasize the rigidity of her vocals. A few originals show her capabilities and strengths, including Why Did We Have To Part and Eternity. But in the end, Horses is another addition to a catalogue short on standouts.
Top track: Eternity