#SRCZ Album Review // Mark Lanegan Band – Phantom Radio

A new album from Mark Lanegan is always worth a listen, and when that happens so often recently it’s even more of a pleasure. So, how did Phantom Radio go for #SRCZ?

It’s taken a long time to get to write this review. Not for any bad reasons, or even because we’re lazy. (That’s one music journalist stereotype kicked away!) The reason os even more simple, it’s because we’ve been listening to it. We’ve enjoyed all previous Mark Lanegan releases that have come our way, but whilst they have crept slowly into our subconscious like the art aesthetic his work is imbued with, Phantom Radio was a much more instant love.

Lanegan is, of course, blessed with a beautifully soulful voice, the hints of gravel making it even more essential.  But, superlatives aside, he definitely has the kind of voice you know within a few seconds of pressing play. On Phantom Radio the music and the voice are in full on form, producing an instant candidate for album of the year within a few songs.

It’s not often we’re easily distracted from what we’re doing, but on songs such as the utterly captivating Judgement Time or the lounging midnight soul of Killing Season, it’s hard not to be impressed. The sheer quality of the song writing, at once beautiful yet gothic on occasion, is evident from the get go and if you’re not the kind who loves music that transcends the moment of listening to become quotable, then this is the record that will put you on the right track.

It’s a cliché to say phrases such as ‘career best’ (and one we’re keen to avoid the over use of) but Phantom Radio is truly haunting in the best of ways, an instant call to the listener to press repeat for many years to come. If Lanegan wasn’t a well known name before beyond the well trained ear of music lovers then this record will make sure he reaches the rest.

Standout Tracks: ‘Judgement Time’; ‘Killing Season’

(S. Gahan) 

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