Friday, May 27, 2011
Mark Lanegan vs Johnny Cash
Lanegan – adj: something deep, dark and fucked up yet sparkling with beauty.
In my world, Lanegan is an adjective and hearing him sing a Johnny Cash song makes believe simultaneously that the rapture actually did and didn’t happen last Saturday. If there is a clarion call to the apocalypse, it has to be dark seductive tones of Lanegan singing The Beast in Me, Cash’s dark exploration of the inner demons that can tear a life apart (written by his ex-son in law - awkward). But surely if there is some benevolent force in the Universe, that this cover even exists shows that the end of the world is not nigh but a place of beautiful miracles. What the hell? Did someone spike my cup of tea this morning?
As a bonus, the track Jacob’s Ladder is all fire and brimstone and as the tale goes, we’re all doomed to hell on Earth – way to bring the joy Mark. Both are great tracks and more remarkable because The Beast In Me is off the Hangover 2 soundtrack and Jacob’s Ladder is from some video game called Rage. If Lanegan is wasting songs like this on promotional fluff, here’s hoping his next album is a dark masterpiece. The thing about Lanegan is that even though he’s all dark, brooding and mysterious, he’s the hardest working man in rock. Every year seems to be a bounty for Lanegan related material but I would dearly love a new solo album in the Bubblegum variety, it has been some seven years since his last record.
Lanegan is one of those artists in the true sense that his music moves forward regardless of fashion or commercial considerations – it just is, some timeless evocation of raw beauty, darkness and hardship. Whether it is the soundtrack to the old west or some post apocalyptic video game or whether he’s aping Iggy on Sideways in Reverse or getting evil on Idle Hands, Lanegan’s dusty baritone cuts through it all. There is never any doubt about who is in control and who is the master of darkness. Lanegan is the man.