Mark Lanegan - Mark Lanegan Imitations

Giving Ol’ Blue Eyes a run for his money

Whether with Screaming
Trees or the various projects
that followed, Mark Lanegan
made his name singing the
gloomiest of songs, plumbing
the kind of emotional depths
that only a grizzle-voiced
former heroin addict could.
Those days are long behind
Lanegan, but that darkness
still resides within him today
– something clearly evident
on both 2012’s sublimely
stark Blues Funeral and his
collaboration, earlier this
year, with Duke Garwood.
Why the hell, then, is he
releasing a collection of
crooner cover versions?

If that sounds totally
incongruous, when you hear
him croaking out Mack The Knife like somebody’s drunk
grandfather, or his gravelled
takes on Pretty Colors and
You Only Live Twice, it starts
making sense. Autumn
Leaves is particularly mournful
and despondent, but even
when he (not entirely
convincingly) takes on the
French language with Elégie
Funèbre, it’s possible to hear
the empty ache – or at least
the memory of it – from deep
inside. Covers of songs by
Nick Cave, Chelsea Wolfe and
Lanegan’s Gutter Twins
bandmate, Greg Dulli, bring
this collection slightly more
up to date, but nothing
sounds out of place. Rather,
in Lanegan’s hands, they
coalesce to form a record of
timeless, typically morose joy.

4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars

Heavenly | HVNLP 101

Reviewed by Mischa Pearlman
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