Mark Lanegan Band
Blues Funeral - 4AD
FILTER Grade: 85%
By Andrea Bussell on February 8, 2012
Mark Lanegan’s addictions and inner turmoil are well documented throughout his catalogue. But one note of his brutal, weathered baritone will tell you everything you need to know about where he’s been. Blues Funeral—his first solo record since 2004’s Bubblegum—lays out a mix of stripped-down slow burners (“Bleeding Muddy Water,” “St. Louis Elegy”), hard-boiled dance beats (“Ode to Sad Disco”) and a touch of pop inspiration (“Quiver Syndrome”), sounding cleaner than Lanegan has for awhile. But there’s no softness here. Collaborations with Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, Lanegan’s fellow Gutter Twin Greg Dulli and original Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Jack Irons inject a little more heavy and sleaze to his rock. Lanegan’s gargled-with-razor-blades delivery makes mention of crying (“Phantasmagoria Blues”) seem as unsentimental as a knife fight. Even his version of a love note, “The Gravedigger’s Song,” goes dark, borrowing from cemetery imagery to make its chilling declarations.