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4.6 out of 5 stars
37
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 3 January 2013
Mark Lanegan:
I had to say something else?
Not like "Whiskey for the Holy Spirit" but...
Hey
He IS Mark Lanegan!
Enough?
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on 21 February 2012
Despite Mark Lanegan being my favourite vocalist of the last twenty years, when I first heard Blues Funeral I was initially very disappointed. Deliberately, I didn't rush to become one of the first to review it here in case I gave the album an unfair critique. Aside from 'Gravedigger Song' and perhaps 'Riot in my House' there didn't seem to be any other standout tracks on the album, so I've spent the last few weeks re-listening to it in the hope that Blues Funeral might grow on me. On every listen, I've desperately waited for it to reveal some hidden musical depths that I may have overlooked at first, but sadly, to no avail.

I have been a Mark Lanegan fan ever since Screaming Trees released their classic 'Sweet Oblivion' in 1992, and I have followed his career closely since. In all, Mark Lanegan has produced some amazing tunes over his well-established career, though to be honest, there have been a fair amount of disposable tracks in his otherwise remarkable solo output. I agree with another reviewer here that 2004's 'Bubblegum' is perhaps his crowning achievement, so it is not that I am in any way stuck in the past. I just don't think Blues Funeral is particularly inspired, or to put it bluntly, it simply isn't that good.

I think Lanegan's lyrics here come across more disingenuous than past offerings, as if he is trying too hard to be dark and moody, which detracts from the realism and (seemingly genuine) despair that has permeated his previous albums. It is as if he finally sees himself as a marketable commodity, and that the 'gloom' Lanegan pedals is what makes his product profitable. This may seem harsh but it leaves me with that impression, and the bland, unimaginative or outright cheesy musical scores that accompany many of the tracks on Blues Funeral do little to bolster what, to me at least, is an album that both tried too hard and didn't try hard enough... and failed. Most of it just blends into the background with the wallpaper, as if it isn't there at all. A far cry from 'Bubblegum' then, where every track cried out to be heard.

To the uninitiated, it's definitely worth checking out most of Mark Lanegan's earlier solo work, plus the later 'Screaming Trees' albums and his fabulous collaborations with Greg Dulli as the 'Gutter Twins' (Isobel Campbell's voice is an acquired taste, but there's some great material there, too)
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on 27 February 2014
I bought this CD for a family.
All of them - father, mother and a son - just lives it!
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on 10 May 2015
It's Mark Lanegan... No more needs to be said for this A W E S O M E N E S S !!!
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on 10 February 2012
Arrived on day of release and been playing it more or less continuously since. Better than Bubblegum, better than anything by Screaming Trees/Soulsavers. No weak tracks and certainly contender for best release of the year. I feel no need to substantiate this opinion as others here have done that already. Just buy it! Fantastic.
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on 10 February 2012
Like a lot of the reviewers on here, I am a massive fan of Mark Lanegan and own the majority of records he has appeared on, but this album isn't one of his strongest. There are three or four stand out tracks which make me think how good this album could have become. If it wasn't for the over-production, bad drum machine manufactured beats and the need to try to move too far away from where he has come this could have been a very good album instead of just an OK one.

The need to evolve but stay exactly the same that plagues the majority of artists with any longevity has struck here I feel. The need to try something different yet do it in his own inimitable style produces a mish-mash hotchpotch sound that doesn't do his voice or songs justice. In this digital/electronic age artificially manufactured sounds date very quickly and the sounds on this album sound dated already. If this album was released 10 years ago it would have sounded fine but it will still have missed the mark of being a cohesive album.

Die hard Mark Lanegan fans will like it, but not as much as Bubblegum or other previous work with Isobel Campbell, Soulsavers, etc. The new fans he seems to be chasing after with his over produced tracks won't be impressed as his sound is just too dated.

Hopefully we won't have to wait so long for the next new solo album.

[irony]And hopefully next time I hope he evolves yet stays exactly the same.[/irony]
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on 9 September 2015
O.K. but not really my cup of tea.
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on 8 March 2015
It's Mark Lanegan - deep n dark!
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on 17 April 2016
Beautiful, evocative Blues.
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VINE VOICEon 9 March 2012
I was a bit surprised when I first listened to this album. It's unmistakably a Mark Lanegan record - the gothic gospel/blues influences are all in place. But there are a few other ideas creeping in here and there and they add to the mix in a big way.

For me, the highlights come in the middle. 'St Louis Elegy' is a haunting piece of dark Americana, set over a nice low key electronic beat. 'Riot in my House' has some brilliant churning, and squealing, guitar work. 'Quiver Syndrome' just has a driving energy that is impossible to resist.

That said though, these tracks are for me just the best of the best. The whole album is actually pretty great. Lanegan's voice is a constant, but here and there the music reminded me of Goldfrapp, Moby(!?), or even The Dandy Warhols (but in a good way). It's a collection of brilliant songs ultimately, but the variety helps give it an edge over his other stuff. Definitely, definitely recommended. A definite contender for album of the year.
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