Mark Lanegan Band: Blues Funeral

"Oh sister of mercy," intones Mark Lanegan on his first solo set in seven years, invoking Leonard Cohen, Andrew Eldritch, and countless other gothy dudes with a taste for dysfunctional relationships. Minus usual vocal sidekicks Isobel Campbell and Greg Dulli (who appears briefly on the vintage drum-machine jam "St. Louis Elegy"), Lanegan's chafed baritone works best with bold backdrops, like the dark synth-pop of "Ode To Sad Disco," which pushes his growl into weird Bono-Zooropa territory, and the monster-truck swagger of "Riot In My House," basically a Queens of the Stone Age jam with ex-bandmate Josh Homme. Some singers sound best when they socialize.

Listen to "The Gravedigger's Song":

Photos: Random Notes