No Surprise, Mark Lanegan's Blues Funeral Is A Drag

Mark Lanegan

Blues Funeral

2/7, 4AD:

Notwithstanding side projects with Isobel Campbell, Queens of the Stone Age, and Greg Dulli, Blues Funeral marks Lanegan's first solo release since 2004's excellent Bubblegum. That gravel-throated warble is worn in and deeper now, his lugubrious themes even more so. But Blues Funeral is a not a downer because of its brooding lyricism--what we all love about Lanegan--it's a bummer because the grunge icon traded distortion and mystique for cheesy guitar effects, sweeping synth, and misplaced irony (see "Ode to Sad Disco") that liken him more to the Dandy Warhols than the Screaming Trees. They say change is good, but even with the righteous shredding of Josh Homme, who appears on Funeral ("Riot In My House") as he did on Bubblegum, the oft-lamenting artist can do better.

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