It's been a pretty good year so far, one month in...here's my review of Mark Lanegan's new kraut- and electro-tinged album Blues Funeral.
Mark Lanegan has always had one of rock’s most natural-sounding voices: rough-hewn, unaffected, deep and vibrant in an unstudied way, whispery and worn at the edges. His singing is couched in the world-weary acceptance of blues, but also reaches for spiritual resolution in the manner of gospel. He sounds, most of the time, as if he’s ruminating to himself, and when he hits the occasional soaring, outward-directed crescendo, it’s startling, as if a tiger in a zoo had suddenly turned its gaze on you. There is something elemental about Lanegan’s singing, something unconcerned with, and maybe hardly even aware of, the listener. It’s the reason that comparisons with Tom Waits, who is always calculating his effect on the audience, have never made sense to me. Two deep growly voices, one on a vaudeville stage, the other singing from the pit of an abandoned well, and not the slightest bit similar.