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|Vinyl, 31 May 2011||
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180 grams audiophile vinyl
About the Artist
Mark Lanegan began his music career in the 1980s, forming the grunge group Screaming Trees. Besides ánd after Screaming Trees, Lanegan also found success and recognition from his solo work and collaborations with a.o. Queens of the Stone Age, Gutter Twins, Twilight Singers, Melissa Auf der Maur, Martina Topley Bird and former Belle and Sebastian singer and cellist Isobel Campbell with whom he recorded three albums. His most successful solo studio release to date is Bubblegum which was originally released in 2004. The release features a prominent cast of guest musicians, among which are PJ Harvey, Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri of Queens of the Stone Age, Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs, and Duff McKagan and Izzy Stradlin of Guns N' Roses.
Top customer reviews
If you like your music intelligent (Bombed), passionate (Come to Me), heartfelt (Like Little Willie John), honest (Wedding Dress)and (slightly) dark (When Your Number Isn't Up) this is for you.
I didn't think Songs for the Deaf or Field Songs could be topped. This makes them look ordinary.
The good news here is that Lanegan, rather than "returning" or "departing" from what you may be used to, has brought all of it together into a an intense boil, and come out of it with a powerful collection of songs that will offer immediate, if different, favorites for everyone.
In addition to this, the list of musicians called on to help his efforts is quite impressive and likely to make you salivate, even before the album starts playing. Whether it is PJ Harvey, Afghan Whigs/Twilight Singers' mastermind Greg Dulli, or Josh Homme -from QOFTA- to name only the ones I was most excited about and intrigued by for what they may add to this album, their contributions are a major plus to "Bubblegum'"s sound.
Speaking of "bubblegum" -a reference from a line in the song "Bombed"-Lanegan could not sound farther from what that word may make you expect. Actually, he sounds closer to Tom Waits than ever before, a similar tone yet not ever trying to imitate Tom, and he phrases his words in ways that remind me -at least me- of the dark sensuality of Jim Morrison.
The reference to Morrison may be more apparent on "When Your Number Isn't Up," and ominous and prophetic slow tune about mortality, or "Wedding Dress," as dark a "love song" as you can expect.
As far as Lanegan ability to bring into a single album everything he's explored musically in the past, I'd like to name some of the remaining tunes. "Methamphetamine Blues" is probably densest piece of the bunch, in part thanks to Homme's raging guitar and the machine-like pipe-banging that drives the song from the beginning ... Let's just say its title could not be more accurate
PJ Harvey's duet on the quieter "Come To Me" -one of two songs she sings on- makes it another high moment from this album, giving it a sensuous and menacing mood, think of it as a hymn to dark love.
Other songs I particularly recommend are "Morning Glory Wine," as tender a ballad as Lanegan gets; the bluesy "Like Little Willie John;" and the dense beauty of "Strange Religion" and "One Hundred Ways."
Last but not least, I must mention Chris Goss' co-production, which gives Lanegan a partner who seems to read his mind and soul, and pushes him to further greatness, and Wendy Rae Fowler whom I didn't know but whose voice adds incredible depth to the above-mentioned "Wedding Dress, and the very brief, although sad and gorgeous, "Bombed."
All in all, this is a remarkable album, a dark and fierce set of songs that has stretched Mark Lanegan in more directions than any of his prior recordings, and, to my taste, one of the best albums of 2004.
A really fine album from one of rocks underated greats
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