Soulsavers
"It's Not How Far You Fall, It's The Way You Land"

(Red Ink/Columbia Records 2007)Soulsavers - It\'s Not How Far You Fall, It\'s The Way You Land

Throughout the last few years, Mark Lanegan has been hotly tipped as the go-to man for collaborations. Queens of the Stone Age, Isobel Campbell, and the Twilight Singers have all featured partnerships with the longtime musician well known for his solo work. But few could have dreamed of the result when Lanegan united with British electronic duo Soulsavers. Talk about taking a risk.

Full gospel rolls in for the smooth and affecting "Revival," backing Lanegan with a choir for a truly religious experience and softening the trademark cigarettes and whiskey tone of his voice. The shrill sounds of organ and pounding piano on "Paper Money" set the stage over a steady drum machine for seduction as Lanegan darkly asks "girl, who's your daddy?" "Ghosts of You and Me," with its reverberating instrumentation and doubled vocals, comes across sounding more like a remix than an original while, similarly, "Jesus of Nothing" is a slow burn out over twangy notes and clapping electronics.

On the other end of the spectrum is a newly redone version of Lanegan's own "Kingdoms of Rain," from his "Whiskey for the Holy Ghost" and the track remains as poignant as ever. Instrumentals like "Ask the Dust" and "Arizona Bay" are epic and multidimensional, fusing a sort of new age barrenness with crashing beats or, in the latter case, slowly spiraling electronics for a soundtrack to an otherworldly urban landscape.

Soulsavers' album, much like March, comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. It is a sleeping beast, wrapped in rosary beads, that awakes to entice. Lush instrumentation, much of it pulsing electronics, sets heads spinning and hearts beating. While "It's Not How Far You Fall" is unevenly balanced, bringing out the big guns all at once before lulling listeners with a dreamy, minimalist comedown, Soulsavers have done more than caught our interest with their smartly executed album. Soulsavers have firmly gotten our attention.

A-

buy it!