Mark Lanegan : Blues Funeral

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Mark Lanegan : Blues Funeral


Mark Lanegan understands the blues. For the best part of his adult life Lanegan has stumbled through a gut-wrenching collage of drug addiction, emotional heartache and physical trauma. Lanegan has ridden a violent psychological rollercoaster, barely keeping to the rails while others have fallen to their demise.

So when Lanegan releases an album titled Blues Funeral, you know it’s from the heart. Lanegan’s solo output has regularly matched, and occasionally surpassed his work with The Screaming Trees. While definitely no Whisky For The Holy Ghost, Blues Funeral is another warts-and-all glimpse into the battered and fractured Lanegan psyche. 

Lanegan is at his best pondering intensely the nature of emotional attached: The Gravedigger’s Song, replete with rumbling drums and rusting licks, opens up psychological portals few would ever contemplate; the sobering darkness of Bleeding Muddy Water is an admission of humanity, as painful and distressing as it can be to all concerned. The bleakness of St Louis Elegy is confronting, Riot In My House is blues-rock in all its post-Stones glory and Phantasmagoria Blues cuts straight through the rhetorical bullshit of romantic to the bone of emotional failure. On Leviathan Lanegan warbles like a recovering Tom Waits; on Ode To Sad Disco the gravel-voiced sometime junkie is let loose on the dancefloor, with surprising results.

Yet when Lanegan turns his hand to something approaching the pop song – Gray Goes Black, Quiver Syndrome, Harborview Hospital – there’s a sense of beauty and exhilaration that can only come from hitting rock bottom. Mark Lanegan is a man forever contemplating a half glass, and seeing within it his own failures and potential rehabilitation. 


Best Track: Bleeding Muddy Water

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