Marianne Faithfull has not exactly had a good few years. Diagnosed with arthritis, the legendary artist turns 72 in little than over a month, which somehow feels young, considering the length of her musical tenure. Having released her debut all the way back in 1965, to say the least, it’s been a long road.

The twists and turns (not to mention the loss) along the way is well known to many, from the apple of Mick Jagger’s eye, to a suicide attempt, to addiction, to her gradual, grand reemergence. Faithfull may have been a treasured mainstay for decades now, but her mentality has never seemed to leave behind that fighter’s instinct, her career an eternal comeback.

This has been a great benefit to her music, if perhaps not her happiness. Returning with Negative Capability, four years on from her last LP, as always, she seems to have everything to prove.

As it tends to go as we age, much has changed for Faithfull in a few short years. Her voice has changed a bit, seeming to finally buckle under the weight of all she’s seen. It only makes her singing all the more powerful. When she struggles through ‘In My Own Particular Way’, you feel every single word as she bravely reckons with aging with relative grace.

As always, love is on her mind, but Faithfull’s impression of it is wiser (and graver) than ever. Writing from her adopted home of Paris, the city seems to have both put Faithfull more at peace and taken its toll.

A real sense of loneliness does battle with tired acceptance across Negative Capability. This is something she largely dodges with other preoccupations until ‘No Moon in Paris’, the restrained, yet powerful, album closer. She may sing the likes of, “...it's lonely and that's all I got,” softly, but the words hit like a blow.

The guests on Negative Capability befit its creator’s stature as well as its importance, from Nick Cave to Rob Ellis. To compare this record to the late work of Leonard Cohen is truly no exaggeration, Faithfull proving equally capable of wielding her warping voice as a piercing weapon, fearlessly digging (deep) into the cold, stark truths of growing ever nearer to death.

Yet, she never quite grows morbid, being sure to recall that, “death is far away,” on ‘Witches Song’. To craft an album adrift in melancholy, but far from beholden to it, is no small feat, and Negative Capability is sure to stand the test of time, much like its creator. Marianne Faithfull has delivered a searing late career masterstroke, as vital as any in her storied career.