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Phantom Radio

Phantom Radio could be considered as the ending for a trilogy which began with Bublegum (2004), and continued with Blues Funeral (2012). It looks like the end of a sonic journey, of a purification which, if you insist on, may lead to the listeners’ boredom. If on the contrary, it really ends here, it will remain as a great closure for that phase of the Screaming Trees’ ex-singer.

Mark Lanegan’s solo career has been, until this moment, impeccably strong and coherent, making a discourse -which was a priori limited to one genre- sound fresh, modern and with a constant search spirit in every new project.

Guitars had never been so much in the background as they are in Phantom Radio, his now ninth work, if we count the two cover albums. What prevails here are those ambient half-times based on keyboards, pre-recorded bases and electronic gadgets which little by little started to show in his previous albums, and we have to acknowledge that his play turned out well, mostly.

Thus, we have good songs such as Floor of the Ocean, The Killing Season’s groove, Seventh Day (although excessively repetitive), the beautiful lament in Waltzing in Blue, religious predictions in Judgement Time, or the advanced single Harvest Home, a vibrant piece and one of the most active ones in the album.

It is true that, in general terms, Phantom Radio has a lot more good things than flaws, but it is also true that everything sounds so ethereal and absorbed that one has the feeling of barely being aware while the album goes by, without definite moments to cause any sort of distress or surprise. That is what we would ask of good old Mark for his next project.

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