Mark Lanegan aims to save your soul

So what happens when you match an English production and remix team with one of the great oft-overlooked vocalists of the Pacific Northwest?  Well, in the case of Soulsavers, the answer is that everything goes right and nobody notices.

At least, that’s the way we see it here.  Soulsavers, currently on tour behind their third release, Broken, might be finding limited success here in the States but it is no reflection on the quality of their most recent works.

Mark Lanegan, Rich Machin, & Ian Glover of Soulsavers

Mark Lanegan, Rich Machin, & Ian Glover of Soulsavers

Broken follows up the first collaboration of Rich Machin and Ian Glover with ex-Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan, the brilliantly titled It’s Not How Far You Fall, It’s the Way You Land

In a just world, Lanegan would need no introduction, but in case you are not familiar with his work, be sure to read a solid biography from allmusic which details his 2+ decades worth of recorded material.

Check out some of the adjectives used to describe Lanegan’s vocals: “brooding”, “melancholy”, “somber”, and “intense”, just for starters.  All true and maybe that can be mildly off-putting to some listeners. 

But to these ears, Lanegan is one of the best vocalists of his generation.  Criminally overlooked by many, Machin and Glover correctly assessed that he would be the perfect match to their mix of electronica, rock, gospel, soul, and country.

NME gives Broken an 8/10 in its review of the “darkly majestic album”.  And if this snippet from the review doesn’t make you want to check out the record, then nothing will:

A veritable Dante’s Inferno of an album, ‘Broken’ seethes with laconic fury, bittersweet jealousy and self-indulgence, ponders on loss, grief and redemption and aches with love’s labours lost; it’s a record that speaks of dissonance and despondency and as such is instantaneously engrossing and comforting.

For another great opportunity to explore the music of Soulsavers (at the great price of free), click the link for an in-studio live performance on yesterday’s Morning Becomes Eclectic with Jason Bentley at Los Angeles’s famed KCRW.

Treat yourself to a new sound or catch yourself up with the latest in the long, winding career of Mark Lanegan.  You can’t go wrong here. 

And if your immediate thoughts are that this is an acquired taste, you might be right.  But once acquired, you won’t need to worry about a return policy.  Lanegan’s vocals have a way of growing on you.  Might even save your soul.

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~ by acm213 on September 11, 2009.

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