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Location: Lafayette, Indiana, United States

Monday, February 20, 2006

Eyes betray what your words don't speak...

I actually had to search back through all the entries on here to find that I hadn't posted Mark Lanegan before. Surprising, as I've been a big fan, especially the last few months upon hearing his album with Isobel Campbell (formerly of Belle & Sebastian.) I think I've gradually come to prefer his solo work over his Screaming Trees output- and that's certainly saying a lot. One of the best bands to come out of the "grunge" era, they never quite got the same fame or success as that of Nirvana or Soundgarden. But Lanegan's songwriting talents were just as good or better than that of any other band of the time.

A good part of the reason I like Lanegan's music so much is its evocativeness. You don't need to listen to more than five seconds of a song before it sets a mood. Twangy guitars with plenty of reverb call to mind a dusty ghost town, with rival gunslingers face to face. Some of the tunes bring to mind a good number of the scenes from Twin Peaks, with a sleazy bar or a dirty deal going down. And Lanegan's voice just adds to the mix- his voice is weary and worn, making every lyric he comes up with believable, no matter how strange.

"Ballad Of Broken Seas" is his latest effort, collaborating with Isobel Campbell. I won't try to hide the fact that I've always been a huge fan of Belle & Sebastian and Isobel's as well. When I first heard that they were working together, it struck me as strange that the two would pair up. But once you hear the album, it instantly makes sense. Lanegan's raspy and eerie voice go right alongside Isobel's airy and innocent vocals to give the perfect contrast within the songs. Lanegan's lyrics and songwriting is as good as it's ever been, and I have a little hope that this isn't just a one-off project and that they'll work together again in the future...

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan- Ramblin' Man

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan- Deus Ibi Est

Mark Lanegan Band- Methamphetamine Blues

Mark Lanegan- Shiloh Town

Mark Lanegan- Little Sadie

Screaming Trees- Dollar Bill

Screaming Trees- Disappearing


Isobel on Myspace


Anonymous Evan said...

Way to give credit to who you got it from. Man.

5:48 PM  
Blogger jspaceman said...

What- somebody on woxy back in November? :p

6:12 AM  

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