Bubblegum (Mark Lanegan album)

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Bubblegum
Studio album by Mark Lanegan
Released August 10, 2004
Recorded 2003-2004
Genre Alternative rock, blues rock
Length 49:06
Label Beggars Banquet
Producer Mark Lanegan, Chris Goss, Alain Johannes
Mark Lanegan chronology
Here Comes That Weird Chill
(2003)
Bubblegum
(2004)
Blues Funeral
(2012)
Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan chronology
Ballad of the Broken Seas
(2006)
Singles from Bubblegum
  1. "Sideways in Reverse"
    Released: 2004
  2. "Hit the City"
    Released: 2004

Bubblegum is an album by Mark Lanegan, released in 2004 on the Beggars Banquet label under the name "Mark Lanegan Band" (see 2004 in music).

The release features a prominent cast of guest musicians, among which are PJ Harvey, Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri of Queens of the Stone Age, Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs, and Duff McKagan and Izzy Stradlin of Guns N' Roses. Also appearing on Bubblegum is Lanegan's ex-wife, Wendy Rae Fowler. The favorably reviewed album is his most commercially successful to date, reaching number 39 on Billboard's Independent Albums chart.

Music[edit]

Recording and production[edit]

The album was recorded at various locations 2003-04 including: Rancho De La Luna (Joshua Tree, CA); Sound City (L.A., CA); Stagg Street (Los Angeles, CA); Lethal (L.A., CA); Donner & Blitzen (Arcadia, CA); 11 a.d. (Hollywood, CA); Sound Arts (Houston, TX); Kudzu Ranch (Mebane, NC); Del Boca Vista (South Pasadena, CA)

The album was Mixed by Rick Will except Alain Johannes (11-14) and Mathias Schneeburger (8, 15) Recorded by Tracey Chisholm, Alain Johannes, Rick Will, Jonas G., Mathias Schneeburger, Aldo Struyf, David Catching, Brian Baker, Rick Miller, Rail Rogut, Pete Martinez.

Photos: Anna Hrnjak

Art Direction & Design: Susan McEwoen

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork Media (7.2/10)[2]
Q 4/5 stars p.121
Entertainment Weekly A p.66
The Guardian 4/5 stars[3]
Uncut 4/5 stars 8/01, p.96

Allmusic's Mark Deming described the album: "With the Screaming Trees an increasingly distant memory and his brief tenure with Queens of the Stone Age seemingly over and done, Mark Lanegan appears to have well and truly become a solo artist, and while the dark and blues-shot introspections of Whiskey for the Holy Ghost and The Winding Sheet felt like a respite from Lanegan's usual musical diet of the time, Bubblegum sounds like an effort to fuse the nocturnal atmospherics of his solo work with the impressive brain/brawn ratio of his better-known bands." awarding the album four out of five. The Guardian's Alexis Petridis wrote the record was "Lanegan once called his bluesy solo work "death dirges". From its matte black cover inwards, Bubblegum never stints on the dark stuff. There is drug-induced despair and failed romance, with music to match: sibilant drum machines that recall 1970s art-punks Suicide, dolefully minimal guitar figures, shrieking feedback and the unmistakable wail of PJ Harvey on backing vocals. At its bleakest and least tuneful, Bubblegum is powerful enough to take your breath away. In every sense, Bubblegum is a staggering record" Petridis awarded the album four out of five stars.

Pitchfork Media reviewer Matthew Murphy commented that "Throughout Bubblegum, Lanegan proves himself adroit at navigating the back alleys of Babylon, but after the record's umpteenth reference to loaded shotguns, '73 Buicks, and goin' cold turkey, one can't help but think he might eventually want to take a stab at some new material. So far, his voice has proven to be well-suited for whatever use he has put it to; hopefully next time he strays a little further afield to better stretch its limits."

From Stylus Magazine by Dave McGonigle: "It is, to be frank, one of the most remarkable and forward-looking rock albums that you will hear all year, and testament to Lanegan's ability to take desolate lyrics and fashion beautiful, redemptive tunes around them. This is the album that Lanegan always seemed about to make; forgive him his tardiness, and dive right in."[1]

CD Times's Karl Wareham : "'Bubblegum', on the whole, is something of a flawed classic. When it's good it's excellent, but there's one too many fillers to make it a perfect album. It's still one of the strongest albums released for quite a while. Slipping onto the shelves with hardly a hint of hype and that's OK, this is one album that shouldn't need it for it'll sell by word of mouth for years to come." [2]

From The Age (Australia) by Patrick Donovan, "It's hard to tell if the title is ironic, given the dark nature of the album, but perhaps he answers this on Bombed: "When I'm bombed I stretch like bubblegum." This album will resonate with listeners long after the storm has settled, the ice has melted and his words fade to black. A modern-day classic from one of rock's great survivors." Patrick Donovan awarded the album five stars.

Playlouder: "At times 'Bubblegum' is terrifying, exhilarating, intimate, sexy, weird, and downright wonderful. 'Bubblegum' is the sound of being loaded. 'Bubblegum' is highly addictive, so be careful." [3]

Upon its release in August 2004, Bubblegum peaked at #39 on the Independent Albums chart. The album granted Lanegan' his first commercially successful album. Bubblegum peaked at #19 in Italy, #28 in Belgium, #30 in Norway, #35 in Finland, #36 in Netherlands, #43 in the United Kingdom, #67 in Germany and #189 in France.

The single "Hit the City" peaked at 76 on the British singles chart and is Lanegan's first charted single.

The track "Strange Religion" was used in season 6 of the Showtime television series Californication

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Mark Lanegan.

  1. "When Your Number Isn't Up" - (3:01)
  2. "Hit the City" - (2:48)
  3. "Wedding Dress" - (3:07)
  4. "Methamphetamine Blues" - (3:16)
  5. "One Hundred Days" - (4:36)
  6. "Bombed" - (1:08)
  7. "Strange Religion" - (4:07)
  8. "Sideways in Reverse" - (2:46)
  9. "Come to Me" - (3:45)
  10. "Like Little Willie John" - (3:53)
  11. "Can't Come Down" - (3:37)
  12. "Morning Glory Wine" - (4:27)
  13. "Head" - (3:04)
  14. "Driving Death Valley Blues" - (2:48)
  15. "Out of Nowhere" - (2:43)

Personnel[edit]

  • Mark Lanegan - vocals, guitar on 6
  • PJ Harvey - vocals on 2, 9
  • Chris Goss - guitar on 1, 5, piano on 5, vocals on 5, choir vocal on 7
  • Tracey Chisholm - tape manipulation on 1, 4, drum machines on 3, 10
  • Molly McGuire - bass on 1, 10, background vocals on 4
  • Aldo Struyf - feedback on 1, synthesizer on 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 13, piano on 5, organ on 5, 10, tape manipulation on 7
  • David Catching - organ on 1, guitar on 2, 3, 4, 10, lead guitar on 4, 5, 10, 15
  • Wendy Rae Fowler - piano on 1, vocals on 3, 6, background vocals on 4, choir vocal on 7
  • Joshua Homme - guitar on 4, 9, bass on 2, 4, 5, drums on 2, 3, 4, 5, lead guitar on 3, 9
  • Keni Richards - drums on 2
  • Jim Vincent - electronic drums on 2
  • Mike Johnson - lead guitar on 2
  • Ian Moore - background vocals on 2
  • Bukka Allen - organ on 2
  • Alain Johannes - lead guitar on 4, guitars on 11, 12, 13, 14, bass on 11, 12, 13, 14, drums on 11, 12, 13, 14, electronic drums on 11, 14 strings on 11, synthesizer on 11, background vocals on 12, keyboards on 12, 13, organ on 14
  • Natasha Shneider - background vocals on 4
  • Brett Netson - background vocals on 4
  • Greg Dulli - background vocals on 4
  • Nick Oliveri - background vocals on 4, bass on 7, choir vocal on 7
  • Jonathan Russo - bass on 4
  • Izzy Stradlin - vocals on 7
  • Duff McKagan - vocals on 7
  • Troy Van Leeuwen - piano on 7, guitar on 7, 9
  • Joey Castillo - drums on 7
  • John Kastner - guitar on 8, 15, background vocals on 8
  • Eddie Nappi - bass on 8
  • Dimitri Coats - lead guitar on 8, 15, drums on 8, 15, piano on 8
  • Mathias Schneeburger - guitar on 8, background vocals on 8, piano on 15
  • Melanie Campbell - bass on 15

References[edit]