Mark Lanegan albums
Blues Funeral – (4.5 / 5)
When Mark Lanegan is on, he is ON man. This album is one example of this among many of his others (The Winding Sheet, Whiskey for the Holy Ghost, Field Songs), and this is Lanegan at his most experimental. He covers a plethora of rock music genres: “Riot in my House” and “Quiver Syndrome” are pulsating tracks that sound like they could be coming from the Rolling Stones themselves; “Gray Goes Black” and “Ode to Sad Disco” are dance rock at its best, the latter hilariously spoofing disco; “Bleeding Muddy Water” and “St. Louis Elegy” are grieving blues at its best for those who have never been moved by a blues song before; “Phantasmagoria Blues” and “Harborview Hospital” are the traditional ballads, minus the guitar of old and replacing with keyboards. The whole album has a lo-fi self-produced feel that totally works (it was produced by Alain Johannes)
In fact, all of the instruments favor digital and modern age touches which is a nice change of pace from the former master of acoustic instruments like Lanegan was in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. I would almost describe this as Lanegan’s most accessible album as well, as the opening track “Gravedigger’s Song” is the closest thing to a defining song he has ever done: the gravel of Tom Waits meets the raw blues of Morphine with the drive of a modern Jim Morrison. Ditto for closer “Tiny Grain of Truth”, where Lanegan dubs himself the ‘shadow king’ of the 2010’s and I couldn’t agree more. This was Lanegan’s first release since 2004’s Bubblegum and it showed in the strength of the material; there is not a bad track on the whole thing.
Best Tracks: Gravediggers Song, Quiver Syndrome, Phantasmagoria Blues, Riot In My House