Having fronted the Screaming Trees, provided vocal duties on a multitude of Queens Of The Stone Age tracks, released a wealth of material under his own name and provided countless other contributions to countless other artists, it has become a widely known scientific fact that Mark Lanegan's voice is the deepest thing in human existence. However, on Imitations it would appear that he has taken rather a softer turn.

Imitations is a collection of classic songs that Lanegan grew up with. Having said that he wanted to make an album which retained the classic feel of the originals, he's done so to the point that, if anything, he's become a crooner. It's more Richard Hawley than Songs For The Deaf... and it's also very good. From the swampy blues of Chelsea Wolfe's 'Flatlands' - the youngest song on the album - to his frankly beautiful version of Andy Williams' 'Lonely Street', Imitations does perfectly-measured justice to the songs he loves.

Such is the imposing nature of Lanegan's voice, the songs effortlessly take on his identity. What really impresses on throughout the record though, is the versatility of his voice. On 'She's Gone', originally by Hall & Oates, his voice is a relative falsetto. So convincing and credible is his croon throughout, that the album has a strongly nostalgic feel. It really feels like something from different age.

The fact that Nick Cave is the third youngest of the artists covered really gives you an idea of what Lanegan was going for on this record. Cave is also the most obvious inclusion on the record, such is the nature of his voice. As you can imagine, 'Brompton Oratory', from The Boatman’s Call, works impeccably. The only point at which it really doesn't work, is on Gérard Manset's 'Élégie Funèbre'. Put simply, Mark Lanegan singing in French isn't a particularly good thing. This is however, the only slip up to be found.

The album's two real gems are the aforementioned beauty of 'Lonely Street' and the sweeping orchestration of closing track 'Autumn Leaves', the third Andy Williams track on display. 'Autumn Leaves' encapsulates perfectly what Lanegan has achieved on this album: it is simple, elegant and allows the vocals to take the lead without ever overpowering the subtle compositions. By paying homage to classic songwriting, Mark Lanegan has produced a remarkably refreshing album.