The following are reviews for Whiskey For The Holy Ghost

first appeared in Entertainment Weekly, January 21, 1994

Mark Lanegan: Whiskey For The Holy Ghost (SubPop)

Michele Romero

Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan temporarily ditches his arboreal pals on this intensely beautiful second solo effort. Lyrics dense with metaphors of death and drink come to life through Lanegan's smoky tenor, which howls and billows from the depths of subconsciousness. Shadoy background voices, wispy violins, and lumbering acoustic guitars add to the haunting allure. A delightful companion for last call in purgatory. A-

first appeared in Spin Magazine, February 1994

Mark Lanegan: Whiskey For The Holy Ghost (SubPop)

Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan easily blows away any and all of his Seattle counterparts with his stunning vox abilities, his raspy, sweet words, tender at times and deafening at others. Unlike his first solo work, The Winding Sheet, a pensive, brooding mess, Whiskey is written for Lanegan's voice to shine, with musical credit going primarily to Dinosaur Jr's Mike Johnson, who turned in his bass for some stunning guitar work.

first appeared in Billboard Magazine, March 5, 1994


Whiskey For The Holy Ghost

PRODUCERS: Mark Lanegan & Mike Johnson

Sub Pop 132

Screaming Trees front man Lanegan sings like a man worn down on this set, his second solo outing, but his beautifully low, rich, and rough voice brings a bit of heaven to this setting of heavy drink and spiritual searching. Although accompanying guitar melodies occasionally reach for the "proper" bluesy feel, the songs where are capable of pulling together with undeniable power. Rock and modern rock radio should zoom in on "El Sol" and peruse album at leisure for other worthwhile tracks.

first appeared in Pittsburg Post Gazette, March 4, 1994


WHISKEY FOR THE HOLY GHOST (SUB POP) three and a half stars

Ennui, cigarettes and acoustic guitars usually go together like parts of a miserable equation. From Son House to Tom Waits, it has been aptly demonstrated that the keener the musician's sensibilities, the greater will be the distance from the mainstream.

Not surprisingly, this also means the desolation at the heart of any given song usually comes within striking distance of overwhelming the singer if reasonable precautions aren't taken -- ask Diamanda Galas.

Screaming Trees front man Mark Lanegan has a little more going for him than most of his alternative brethren, since he possesses one of the keenest sensibilities and expressive voices around.

''Whiskey for the Holy Ghost'' is an atmospheric masterpiece of brooding, poetic self-pity, with Lanegan sans Screaming Trees, as the befuddled, but cynical host who guides us through the alcoholic haze of his life with these confessional, acoustic-based songs.

Opening with ''The River Rise,'' Dinosaur Jr's J Mascis tries his hand at drumming, while guitarist Mike Johnson, bassist Kurt Fedora and pianist Teddy Trewhella go about creating an atmosphere that is both gothic, seedy and sad. The effect is something totally unexpected.

''Whiskey for the Holy Ghost'' may be petit-existentialism with a capital ''E,'' but it's hard to find fault with it other than the lack of variety from song to song. Even despair has more than one flavor.

first appeared in Tacoma News Tribune, February 2, 1994

"Whiskey for the Holy Ghost" - Mark Lanegan (SubPop): When the history of Seattle music is written, "Whiskey for the Holy Ghost" - the second solo effort by Screaming Trees leader Mark Lanegan - will deserve more than a footnote. Its elusive, slowly unfolding songs avoid the Trees' pummeling, sludgey approach, but come close to the urgency of grunge. It's filled with songs that brood, and its settings are built around, of all things, acoustic guitar.

But there's no fireside folk possibility here. With tension-building suspended harmonies and oddly disquieting melodies, Lanegan's mood music aspires to art-rock grandeur and harrowing, Nick Drake intimacy. Picturesque scene-setting (such as in "Carnival," which is enriched by a thrashing violin solo) alternates with more fantasy-oriented image-conjuring, such as the pensive "Riding the Nightingale." And each of the songs benefits from Lanegan's burly, full-of-portent vocals, which convey a sense of struggle and hard-won resolution.