Mark Lanegan
Blues Funeral


3.5
great

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
February 7th, 2012 | 29 replies | 6,376 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: ...

Mark Lanegan's first solo album in 8 years, 'Blues Funeral', is one heavy dose of sheer hopelessness just like we have come to know and wait from the singer. His dark, coarse voice shapes the album's atmosphere whatever the songs may sound like. While his haunting vocals have also been a more or less of a endurance test for the outsiders, he has also penned unforgettable dark beauty into his music, worthy of notice.

As a whole, the album borders on blues with electronic experimenting, keeping all the way the sadness and the despair Lanegan has always aimed to go deeper and deeper into. First single, "The Gravedigger's Song" holds an overdriven bass and a pulsing echoing guitar while him singing about a love long gone ("To the stars my love/To the sea/To the wheels my love/Till they roll all over me"). The music gives an urgent tone, while the lyrics set the mood the entire album boasts. "St. Louis Elegy" is a good example of the album's mechanized blues sound. Starting with a drum machine and a synth bass, the songs holds the funeral-like sound with reverbed guitars that give an almost eerie atmosphere with Lanegan putting his distinct touch over it. The song is really beautiful, giving the listener a 1800's western feeling.

Another song that really works is the dark disco of "Ode To Sad Disco". The techno synths and the slide guitar make this track really memorable while Lanegan shifts from low to higher vocals, giving his best attempt at a falsetto. The lyrics again give a gloomy western feel "A mountain of dust burns in your mouth/ Here there's no north, just south").

Not all songs sound sad and hopeless though, "Gray Goes Black" starts with some lovely guitar licks and a cool driving bass, but as soon as Mark starts singing he drowns the song in his turgid darkness. Also, 'Blues Funeral''s few rockers "Riot In My House" and "Quiver Syndrome" raise the album from the rather slow hellish vibe, atracting the listener's attention from the lyrics still encased in the impending doom.

Towards the end of the album the songs tend to just flow with less of an identity the first half of the album has. For Lanegan's fans this is not necessarily a bad thing because the songs are not bad at all, but for the newcomers it might be harder to follow. However, "Harborview Hospital" shines with its dreamy guitars, a simple, effective bass line and lovely vocals. Also, "Tiny Grain Of Truth", which sounds a bit scattered has a brass section akin to a funeral march that really brings the record to a stark end.

'Blues Funeral' is a really dark album that offers some great music from the always steady Mark Lanegan. The album is more suitable for the fans but it's also a good start for newcomers too. But, since all the songs are aimed to dig deeper and deeper into sadness and loneliness you never know if his feelings are along the way or it's just fiction.



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user ratings (87)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Ali CONTRIBUTOR (4)
Predictably amazing....


Comments:Add a Comment 
AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
February 7th 2012



7322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. I'm gonna post one for this later, probably my 2nd favourite record of the year so far.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 7th 2012



3353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks! this is my first 2012 album, so I can say it's my favourite haha

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
February 7th 2012



6387 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review, have a pos : )

The album is not bad in any way, and I really like the heavy bluesy feel throughout, but overall it's kinda forgettable...

Digging: Vessel - Punish, Honey

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 7th 2012



3353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks clercqie! yeah, I feel the same, I remember half of the songs but the others are downright forgettable. also I really like your avatar :D

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 7th 2012



5979 Comments


I listened to the stream posted in here about this album, I totally agree with insomnian15 and clercqie.

Digging: Lisa Gerrard - Twilight Kingdom

scissorlocked
February 7th 2012



3509 Comments


That Soulsavers album was the last thing I've heard from this guy and it was pretty good



Digging: Leon Vynehall - Music For The Uninvited

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
February 7th 2012



6387 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ha thanks : )
I still have to get his other stuff (with The Gutter Twins), because the things I've heard from them were really good, though.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 7th 2012



5979 Comments


well written and to-the-point review, pos.

turnip90210
February 7th 2012



309 Comments


Here's your well-deserved pos. Need to check this out, kind of stopped caring when Mike Johnson
stopped being the force behind the music.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 7th 2012



3353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks guys! @turnip I have had Ode To Sad Disco stuck in my head all day long. there are some really good tracks here IMO

bloc
February 7th 2012



34735 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Looking forward to listening to this

Digging: Messiah - Choir of Horrors

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
February 7th 2012



6387 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This has been really well received by the professional press around here.

Island
February 7th 2012



577 Comments


not the fork

KILL
February 7th 2012



71134 Comments


gota check

Digging: David Axelrod - Song of Innocence

porch
February 7th 2012



8453 Comments


guy needs to cheer up

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 7th 2012



3353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haha yeah, but I think then he wouldn't be Mark Lanegan anymore

jefflebowski
February 7th 2012



7549 Comments


gravedigger's song rules

Digging: Dungen - Ta Det Lugnt

X12Celtics3
February 12th 2012



24 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This was a typically great album from Lanegan.

Dimor
February 16th 2012



1755 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

damn, this is a pretty dark album, and actually the first album i heard by this guy. Some great
atmosphere going on in the songs, and i gotta say that half-way into the album it sounds really good.

xxjcon7xx
April 15th 2012



40 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is so good. A 3.5, in my opinion, comes from someone who has not fully digested just how amazing this record is. Lanegan put out a classic



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