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Under normal conditions of standard sunlight and unlimited Guinness I would absolutely love Mark Lanegan. His old band Screaming Trees gave me unimaginable pleasure, particularly that bloody "" song I couldn't stop playing back before Britpop brought us Sleeper and ruined everything. His collaborations with the likes of Greg Dulli, UNKLE and Queens of the Stone Age are frequently exceptional.

Why, then, am I so utterly cold on his solo output? By solo obviously I include his 'band', who he here presents Phantom Radio alongside even though the press release suggests it's been made more or less using a smartphone. Seriously, it says here he's been using an app called Funk Box to make most of the record. "I didn't bother to hook up my 909 and 808 this time because the app had 'em," he says. 'Didn't bother'. No, right.

The voice, of course, carries him a long way and is usefully throaty and gruff throughout Phantom Radio. Harvest Home jangles like the start of a Screaming Trees number, but never lets loose like his old band used to. He doesn't seem to want to do that any more, relying on that trademark voice to do its thing without needing to raise a yell or two. Sadly, a yell or two is exactly what he needs sometimes.

'Judgement Time' takes us almost into gospel territory, though again he never seems to hit the heights of previous collaborative output, specifically with Soulsavers. 'Floor of the Ocean' is an interesting piece but its reliance on a soft drum beat would sound better if suspicion didn't persist that he also 'didn't bother' hiring a drummer, and just threw a drum track on with his bloody app. To be clear, perhaps it's a real drummer, but once you picture him shrugging and staring mindlessly at his phone like someone you're about to walk into on the pavement because they're lost in a baffling world of multi-coloured electronic candy, it's hard to take any of it overly seriously.

Lanegan most sounds like he's interested on the vaguely baggy 'The Killing Season', in which he wails a bit stronger than elsewhere on the album. Musically, 'Seventh Day' and 'Waltzing In Blue' both hit respectable heights. Lanegan claims his favourite track on the album is 'Torn Red Heart', which sounds more like Spiritualized than anything Jason Pierce has produced in recent years and is filled with pretty moments without ever scaring the cat.

It's decent and fairly enjoyable, but nothing astounds. Perhaps I hold Mark Lanegan up to a higher standard than most because of his other work; perhaps, in fact, I should be considering his solo work as the 'true' Lanegan, and everything else is simply a husky voice over someone else's music.

If that's true, I don't know that I can say I'm a huge fan of the man's work, which is a staggering thing to say given how much I've enjoyed a lot of it over the years. Come on Mark: one amazing album of solo material, pulling out all the stops, setting aside your sodding Funk Box and getting back to the basics of writing brilliant tunes. Because on the evidence of Phantom Radio, you've nearly lost me.

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