Jul 082024
isobel campbell why worry

Scotswoman Isobel Campbell’s individualistic approach to indie chamber pop has kept her thriving in the music industry for nearly 30 years. Her cello and voice act in synergy on her solo material, but also work in a wide range of collaborations, from her breakthrough with Belle and Sebastian through to her hugely successful collaborations with Mark Lanegan. For her new album Bow to Love, she has covered “Why Worry” from Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms.

Some occasionally need to be reminded of how big an album Brothers in Arms was. That goes even more for us in the UK, where it was the biggest album of the whole ’80s. Everyone who loved music bought a CD player and tested it out with that album. On the other hand, the high production values which made it a success on CD may have led to some unnecessary indulgences, other aspects of it have not aged well. Overall the album is not as widely covered as many of its peers. There are some good covers of “Why Worry,” but its supportive, emollient tone seems to attract the mawkish as often as the innovative.

Campbell does not overdo the sentimentality, and perfectly pitches a balm to the fevered brow. From the opening word, ‘Baby’, she offers unwavering, sympathetic support. You sense that she has a good ear, as well as a good voice. With delicate guitar work and cello, she offers comfort. On the marvellous album from which the song is taken it is a delicate end to work which offers her take on unsettling times. We welcome the compassion that she provides.

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