Top positive review
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Album of the year contender - already
on 4 March 2008
I believe I possess everything that Mark Lanegan has recorded. Not bragging, just stating a fact to support my absolute admiration for what he has done, and my belief that he has one of the great voices in rock. The only album that I didn't really like was his Ballads of the Broken Seas with Isobel Campbell - which won awards for goodness sake, but just didn't cut it for me. Otherwise his solo work is of singularly excellent quality, he has the standout tracks on any Queens of the Stone Age album and as for the Screaming trees, easily the best and most innovative of the "grunge" bands.
Greg Dulli? Don't know so much about him but enjoyed a couple of Afghan Whigs albums, especially 1965.
So put them together and what do you get? An exuberant slice of psychedelic, rocky americana. On this album you will hear rocking beats, mental metal guitar, slower acoustic folky numbers, excellent vocal harmonies and truly superb, proper songs. Just look at the instruments that are played on this album. Guitars - electric and acoustic of course, drums, bass and keyboards, so far so ho hum. But there are violins and cellos on some tracks which add a warmth to the affair, the harmonium is hauled out to lend an ethereal rasp to "God's children". "Each to each" features sequenced beats merged with mandolin, and the closer "Front Street" is a slow burning, more traditional epic, kind of creepy, poem set to music.
Maybe I'm being over zealous in my support for this album but anything released this year that overtakes this as my album of the year (or indeed the last few years) will have to be special indeed. This album is that good! In the past couple of weeks we have had an excellent album by Gary Louris which knocked my socks off and now this one. Maybe 2008 will be the year of "New Americana". You heard it here first!!