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Friday, August 10, 2012

Album of my week: Blues Funeral

The past few weeks I've been working stupid, stupid hours covering the Olympics (and my rent money) and all these graveyard shifts got me the blues...in a good way!

I first discovered and saw Mark Lanegan while living in Sydney a few years ago - I didn't know much about him apart from the fact he played a big part in the grunge scene in the early '90s. I was too young then to really dig deeper than Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots, but Lanegan's band Screaming Trees were an underground favourite of the time and one I've recommended on here before.

His voice is incredible. When I saw him in Sydney I couldn't believe how powerful such a low voice could be. In fact, it's always something I've pondered - how male singers with very low voices struggle to be heard in the music world...most of the time, when they do rise to the surface, it's for pure novelty-factor (think Crash Test Dummies). Maybe it's because a good low voice is a rare thing (think Johnny Cash) or maybe people generally respond more positively to more of a tenor range - either way, Mark Lanegan is a rare thing to behold.
He's just released his seventh studio album, Blues Funeral. The album name does a pretty good job of describing the sound really - it melds classic rocknroll instruments and blues frameworks with synthetic instruments and rhythms. It comes out as a modern-sounding record with just enough elements from yonder to make it sound learned and classic.

Have a listen and give it a crack if the below track gets you going.

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