12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A Dark and Dense Brand of Bubblegum,
This review is from: Bubblegum (Audio CD)
Lanegan is a man of many "phases." As a matter of fact, you may be reading this review either because of his work with Screaming Tress, his haunting and stripped down Americana solo output, or his recent singing contributions to Queens Of The Stone Age, have interested you enough to see what our boy is up to here.
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.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Aug 2011, 13:43:21 BST
Lewis Dye says:
Totally disagree. This is his weakest yet.
In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2012, 14:09:31 BST
Last edited by the author on 22 Jun 2012, 14:10:54 BST
CLINT McGAVIN says:
I totally agree with YOU sir! ML did 2 brilliant albums - the first two. In comparison the rest are so so.
Posted on 17 Jul 2012, 22:57:34 BST
Mr. S. Yare says:
This is easily Marks best album but I'm still a big fan of them all really
Posted on 12 Feb 2013, 20:06:43 GMT
N. Allen says:
I've just seen Californication and Strange Religion was the music for the closing of the episode. Once I heard it I had to find out who and what it was. 10 minutes later, my order was placed. I can't wait for the 15th to come so I can listen to this!
Your review is making the wait much worse! The mp3s on the main page all sound like the perfect type of music for me. I cannot wait to hear this.
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