Mark Lanegan: Bubblegum

The former Screaming Trees vocalist returns with his fourth solo offering, presenting a deceptively-titled and complex group of songs with guest appearances from P.J. Harvey, Nick Oliveri and Josh Homme (of Queens of the Stone Age), Izzy Stradlin and Duff McKagan, Dean Ween (Ween), and Chris Goss (Masters of Reality), who also aided in the production process.

While there are poppy and upbeat moments, the album shifts seamlessly into a refined malaise, moody and contemplative. There are solid desert rock moments, reminiscent of Lanegan’s work with Queens of the Stone Age, and the incorporation of some electronic elements adds a dimension of dept to the album that otherwise would be severely lacking.

Still, the diversity of the record is second in interest to the quality of performance. A better soundtrack to a late night drive than a sunny afternoon picnic, Bubblegum is an interesting musical experience that is better lived through than described.