I've skirted around Lanegan for years, but upon the recommendation of a close friend I bought this album very recently. Upon my first listen, whilst doing chores I was impressed, but my 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and beyond (just today!) have me completely in awe of his talent.
The opener "When Your Number Isn't Up" is so haunting, dark and bewitching that it makes me stop whatever I am doing, so that I can give it my full attention.
The tracks then flow beautifully into one and another, sojourning through blues, amerciana and folk along it's way; but I'm stopped in my tracks again by "One Hundred Days", "Sideways in Reverse", "Like Little Willie John" and "Morning Glory Wine". These are my stand out tracks, but let me tell you, there isn't a single skipper on here!
Despite only giving it proper attention today, this album feels like an old friend and I believe it may have already taken up a spot in my favourite albums of all time.
In a nutshell, I think this album is Pure Unadulterated Beauty.
Screaming Trees were one of the most under-appreciated acts of the late 80s/early 90s, a swaggering, hip-shaking monster of a rock n roll band, and to those in the know, singer Mark Lanegan has one of the finest voices in rock. His post-Trees output has been astonishing, album after album of dark, moody, rootsy blues, so earthy that the CDs should come packed in a crate of soil, and this album is a worthy addition to his back catalogue. The folk and blues of his previous solo work are still writ large all over this, but he also reintroduces some grunge and rock elements, no doubt influenced by his stint as vocalist with QOTSA. This is no bad thing, and the drive of songs like Sideways in Reverse prove that he can still rock out with the best of them. The lyrics are as dark as ever, and the vocals are still hot enough to fry a steak on. He's still overlooked by many, but in years to come his monumental body of work will be discovered by a new generation of music fans and he will rightly take his place in the pantheon of American rock legends. Wonderful stuff.
I wasn't sure what Mark Lanegan album to buy so opted for this one as every review on amazon gave it 5 stars. I applaud the amazon reviewers as this is a 5 star album! Brilliant from star to finish and every time I listen I notice something new.
One of my favorites from Mark Lanegan, First listened to the cd at 16 or 17 and it blew me away. was delighted to receive it on vinyl. sat back with my head between the speakers and soaked it in for what felt like the first time again
Hmmm..I have never committed my written opinions to anywhere on the web, but this album is simply magnificent. There is perhaps only one weak song.Can't Come Down. Every other track is a work of smouldering genius. The greatest release in 2004 (of the decade?. Nothing, nothing comes close. 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. Buy It.