Latitude 2009

Soulsavers: Mark Lanegan shines in the dark

Mark Lanegan, undoubtedly one of this planet’s greatest singers, hasn’t put a foot wrong in the last fifteen years. Tonight, he’s exemplary once again, but it’s hard to shake the feeling he’s made his first mistake.

Following a trail of glittering collaborations and guest turns, including stints with Queens Of The Stone Age and Isobel Campbell, something about his union with Soulsavers doesn’t quite ring true.

Desert blues guitars fight against echoey keys and processed beats – it’s part atmospheric melodrama, part made-for-TV cliché. When the obligatory gospel singers come on and Lanegan croons about hanging a cross on a nail before he dies, it’s hard to take the noir seriously.

However, there’s no denying the awesome power of Lanegan’s demonic vocals, so you can almost forgive him his choice of collaborators. Almost.

Words: Tom Pinnock


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Reviewed: Respect Yourself: Stax Records And The Soul Explosion by Robert Gordon


As Robert Gordon reminds us in Respect Yourself: Stax Records And The Soul Explosion, his terrific account of the rise and fall of the great Memphis soul imprint, the Stax story is more than a record-label history. “It is an American story,” Gordon writes,”...