What is there to say about Mark Lanegan that can give the guy any kind of true justice? He plays with numerous bands (including one of my favorites, The Twilight Singers) and continues to reinvent his solo material while keeping his same unique personality.
Many people go out of their way to compare him with Tom Waits, and as a fan of Waits, I can see why, but Lanegan has a different way of approaching the material and an often darker way of pushing that monster of a voice out his body.
2004 was the last time we saw a solo album from Lanegan with his excellent Bubblegum, yet those who were fortunate to download his song for the videogame trailer of Rage in 2011 were in for a treat with ‘Burning Jacobs Ladder’ which has become one of my personal Lanegan favorites.
Blues Funeral, which is his seventh album since 1990’s The Winding Sheet, is a phenomenal collection of songs that start strong and build off one another to a satisfying end.
The first song which also happens to be the first single, ‘The Gravediggers Song’, is a powerful start to the album. The song is immediately catchy and the vocals are exactly the quality we have come to expect from Lanegan. He feels comfortable in his skin and throughout the album, which he should, because he isn’t some new kid in town but instead a grizzled veteran with the scars and past albums to prove to the world that he is someone to pay attention to.
It actually truly baffles me that Lanegan isn’t more recognizable of a name, especially when you consider the number of projects he is involved with. Blues Funeral goes through track after track of a solidifying maelstrom of music that doesn’t come around very often. This is a veteran at work showing a stale and overly “indie” music scene how to move people with words and guitars.
This album goes from rock to blues to haunting imagery that reestablishes Lanegan as a true artist. This is an album that has the power to move people and I truly hope that as many people as possible have the opportunity to hear it.
Album Rating: 4.5 / 5
Album Reviewed by: Mark.HaTe