It's Not How Far You Fall, It's The Way You Land CD
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EDEL 104553; EDEL RECORDS - Italia;
It's great to see ex-Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan obviously in great demand; in the last five years he's collaborated with, among others; Queens of The Stone Age, The Twilight Singers and Isobel Campbell from Belle & Sebastian (on last year's Mercury Music Prize nominated Ballad Of The Broken Seas). Here he collaborates with the Soulsavers who are Rick Machin and Ian Glover, on this follow up to Tough Guys Don't Dance (2003). It's an album best not enjoyed in a car, or even on an iPod in public - so sparse are the arrangements on It's Not How Far You Fall, It's The Way You Land that you'll be unable to appreciate just how much unnecessary embellishment has been left out.
It requires some quality downtime to be appreciated fully, in silence, through a decent pair of headphones, or the albums, smoky air of regret and redemption squandered could be regretfully overlooked. The opener is ''Revival'' stripped down, devotional, melancholy gospel, featuring longing voices, it sets the scene beautifully.
Lanegan's sensitivity, understatement, and sheer vocal versatility lend his performances huge presence and emotional intensity. He helps transform an album of assured instrumentals into a record just shy of greatness, the strong choice of cover tracks and their accomplished, thoughtful treatment helps round off a piece of work that is destined to be loved by those in the know. For example the closing track is a haunting cover of The Rolling Stones ''No Expectations'' from Beggar's Banquet (1968), it will ring in your ears long after it's finished.
The album also features a brilliant re-working of ''Kingdoms Of Rain'', from Lanegan's second solo album, Whiskey For The Holy Ghost (1996), and although these are compositions not designed to be ranked or skipped through, it's one of the strongest tracks on the album.
Lanegan is part Johnny Cash and part Tom Waits, in a real stinker, having been dumped and missing the last train. It's an album Primal Scream might wallow in the morning after a frightening bender. These are songs that don't care about getting their rocks off, they lack the ego, the drive, the ambition, to want fill a stadium. They're destined to occupy a space that's much harder to fill. --Eamonn Stack
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Top Customer Reviews
This is not Lanegan being backed in the rock style of QOTSA or Screaming Trees, the closest work is the more electronic tracks on 'Bubblegum' or the Martina Topley-Bird collaboration (Lanegan likes the more explorative side of hip hop, like Clouddead, as well as having covered Massive Attack on the last Twilight Singers ep). Opener 'Revival' is gorgeous stuff, tapping into a 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door' vibe with some sublime organ and some soulful gospel vocals from Wendy Rose and Lena Palmer. I played this in the store and bought this album on the strength of it - it sounds to me like one of the greatest things Lanegan has co-written/sang. 'Ghosts of You and Me' displays the electronica side of Soulsavers, sounding like a sharper version of Depeche Mode's 'Ultra' musically, maybe with a hint of the electronic climes Australian act black cab are exploring at present.Read more ›
I can hear shades of NIN in some of the music but it is more complete, more rewarding than anything I ever heard from Mr. Trent. And I can hear shades and echoes of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, which for me is no bad thing. But this is a significantly better album.
I absolutely love the drive, the bounce, the cool reflectiveness, the soulful mourning, the twists and turns this album makes. It has a rich weave, darkly textured, sometimes sparse, but never wanting. Soul, blues, hip hop beats all demand your attention but never overwhelm, instead pick you up and take you places that are really rather nice places to be. It's the perfect companion at 03:00 in the morning when there is only you and a bottle of vodka, and equally perfect the next morning whilst you are padding around the kitchen looking for something to line your innards with.
Every track brings something to delight about; musically, lyrically, the way different genres snuggle up to each other and effortlessly support and inspire.Read more ›
This is an awesome, beautiful, and very, VERY moving record. The whole thing could not be more appropriately titled. Lanegan's world-weary voice here sounds typically lugubrious, yet perversely happier than ever to still be alive.
If your preferred tracks on Bubblegum included Morning Glory Wine or Strange Religion; if you own any Spiritualized or Alabama 3 output; if you believe credible rock, new millennium gospel and electronic sensibilities can co-exist in one package; then buy this album.
Personal highlights? Revival is a serious candidate for Song Of The Year (so far) in up to 4 different genres. Spiritual does exactly what it says on the tin. Kingdom Of Rain has been written up elsewhere as "doing for Lanegan what 'Hurt' did for Johnny Cash". Agreed.
The slow burning intensity of opening track `Revival', is unrivalled by any track this year. When Lanegan poses the question: "Why am I so blind with my eyes wide open, I need someone now that this dark night's begun", you can't help but ponder over what he's been blind over and who he's pleading to (perhaps his girl, a dealer, or God?). Regardless, the result is outstanding.
The reworking of Lanegan's Kingdoms Of Rain (it featured originally on the wonderful 'Whiskey for the Holy Ghost') has to be heard to be believed. The music is sharp and accentuates Lanegan's words, phrasing and tone.
Elsewhere he sounds like a preacher who's traded his soul and realises that his saviour isn't forgiving to those who've turned their back on him (`Jesus Of Nothing' and `Ghosts of You And Me'). The versions of Neil Young's `Through My Sails' and the Stones' `No Expectations' are more desolate and abandoned than the originals.
Those who are familiar with the work of Mark Lanegan will know that this sort of subject matter is contained within his work for the best part of 2 decades. However, here the effects are astounding.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Having bought the last two Soulsavers/Dave Gahan collaborations and loving them, I thought I would give this one a try. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I love this album. Play it loud Lanegan's singing matches the backing beautifully. I bet, as another reviewer mentioned, you will look to buy other Lanegan offerings. Read morePublished 8 months ago by No one important
Didn't really gel with this album - I purchased it after buying 2 of their newer (and better) albumsPublished on 12 July 2014 by West Cork
This is terrific. I got to this via Depeche Mode to Dave Gahan solo records to his collaboration with Soulsavers and I am so glad I did. Read morePublished on 8 Jun. 2014 by novelevon
If I hadn't bought Broken at the same time I would have like this more, but it still is a fantastic album, with a fantastic overall sound and some great songwriting.Published on 13 Jan. 2013 by Mr. B. ASHTON
It is only through an old girlfriend that I discovered that Mark Lanagan was singing with this band. Read morePublished on 27 July 2010 by Davo
Occasionally the abject unfairness of life is made only too obvious. That an ex-junkie, jailbird, bailiff should have possibly the finest deep voiced gravelly croak since Tom Waits... Read morePublished on 7 Mar. 2008 by Gilles