Mark Lanegan: Part VII - Bubblegum Seas
Part I is here.
Part II is here.
Part III is here.
Part IV is here.
Part V is here.
Part VI is here.
In 2004 Lanegan took another creative step when he released Bubblegum on the Beggars Banquet label. Bubblegum is more of a rock record that his previous solo material, stylistically oscillating from acoustic based ballads to driving, foot-stomping electric guitar-driven rockers. He duets on “Come To Me” with PJ Harvey, and there are so many other guest musicians playing on the album (including QOTSA's Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri, Greg Dulli from Afghan Whigs & Twilight Singers, Dean Ween from Ween, Chris Goss from Masters of Reality, and former Guns N' Roses members Duff McKagan and Izzy Stradlin') that it should be called a music collective rather than a solo project or a proper band. Lanegan even filmed a video (gasp!) for “Sideways In Reverse”. Notably absent is longtime collaborator Mike Johnson. Lanegan said at the time:
Mike seemed less and less interested as time went on in making these records with me…Had his own records to make, which he should make. We made a lot of records together. And more than enough. Time to move on, y'know? Time to move on. Don't wanna do the same thing for the rest of your life. - The Independent, July 2004This one took me a lot longer to get into than just about everything else Lanegan has made – I’ve only recently really “gotten” it. Not sure what took me so long, but I think it may have been that I was expecting/hoping for more of the chilled-out Lanegan material, and the aggressive rock vibe threw me for a loop a bit. The album was lauded by critics, and he toured a bit with a full band to support it. With the perspective of a couple of years, I now feel like this reviewer got it right regarding Bubblegum:
Bubblegum is a full-blown creative revival for a man whose solo output was becoming far too predictable.” – Magnet Magazine, Oct/Nov 2004Hit The City
Come To Me
Not to be outdone by his solo effort, Lanegan also contributed his mighty pipes to She Loves You, the 2004 album from former Afgan Whigs leader Greg Dulli’s outfit, The Twilight Singers. Dulli is a good friend of Lanegan’s, and the two have been working on a project together for some time now under the moniker Gutter Twins. For a taste of a Dulli-Lanegan collaboration, visit this previous post, where the two cover Massive Attack’s “Live With Me” on the BBC.
2006 saw Lanegan release his collaboration with Isobel Campbell, Ballad Of The Broken Seas. I’ve just started to digest this one, but a few listens bring to mind the hackneyed term “mature”. The mixture of Lanegan’s growl with Campbell’s sweet ethereal voice works in spades. They're an unlikely duo that has created some really great music together. Critics seem to agree that it’s another home run for Lanegan, yet another example of the various and deep talent possessed by this extraordinary artist.
Deus Ibi Est
So this brings me to the end of my little opus on Mark Lanegan. Hopefully some of you found it interesting at times, and maybe a few folks were inspired to revisit Lanegan’s music after a long respite. Ideally someone out there in cyberspace got turned on to Lanegan’s music for the first time. In any case, it was good fun putting these posts together, sort of my thank you note to Lanegan for all the phenomenal music he’s made that’s meant so much to me over the years.
Oh, sweet oblivion feels alright.Indeed.