Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan Sunday at Devil Dirt (V2) At first it seemed one of modern music's more unusual pairings: the angelic Isobel Campbell - once of Belle & Sebastian - and gravel-voiced ex-Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan. And on 2006's Ballad of the Broken Seas there were moments when they did seem a little ill at ease, caught searching for the right balance between bitter and sweet. Not so this time around. Campbell has produced a selection of songs tailor-made for Lanegan's laid-back style, all dripping with lament, while taking more of a back seat with the vocal duties. And it works a treat. Inspired too are Campbell's arrangements, which blend Dr John-style gumbo and the swampy blues of Tom Waits. Given this magic to work with, Lanegan has never sounded better. He growls his way through The Raven and sways with rhythm on the excellent grind of Back Burner. On Keep Me in Mind Sweetheart, he even manages to channel a little Woody Guthrie as he pleads for love and attention. But Lanegan saves his best for Trouble, a song dripping with the desperation of man who's known too much of the night. When Campbell joins in the fray it's never overbearing, more deliciously sinister, as she whispers her way behind Lanegan's lived-in baritone, managing to sound sweet and dirty at the same time. That's the case, too, when she takes over completely - as on the wicked Shotgun Blues, a striped-back backwoods blues number that lurks with evil intent. Being bad has never sounded so good.