• Record Label: Vagrant
  • Release Date: Sep 17, 2013

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Sep 16, 2013
    Imitations is a fine collection that reveals the depth of the songs through the openness and considerable skill of the singer.
  2. Sep 20, 2013
    Imitations as a whole shows this [Lanegan’s continued ability to branch out from any perceived comfort zone and break new ground] as well, proving once again that even after four decades in the game, Lanegan is not an artist content to conform to expectations, but will continue crossing borders to indulge his muse.
  3. Sep 19, 2013
    Imitations may not alter Lanegan’s roundabout arc as a musical itinerant, but it’s a steady reminder of the breadth of his scope and the depth of his roots, not to mention his stature as one of the most potent voices of his generation.
  4. Sep 12, 2013
    A genuine emotional affinity underpins the marriage between Lanegan's lupine growl and 12 melodramatic songs of masculine despair. [Oct 2013, p.70]
  5. Jan 27, 2014
    Rather than radical reimaginations, Lanegan serves up tweaked arrangements within the original frameworks. [Oct 2013, p.105]
  6. Sep 19, 2013
    As ever, Lanegan's voice is solemn and affecting, emphasising the melancholic sentiments of the material. [Oct 2013, p.91]
  7. 60
    Up there with Cash’s ‘American’ series this is not. But 48-year-old Lanegan is a classy bastard, so he just about gets away with it.
  8. Sep 12, 2013
    He has shown that he can use his gift to reinterpret and make these songs completely his, revitalizing them and turning them into new classics. [Aug-Sep 2013, p.92]
  9. Sep 17, 2013
    Slight dips aside, Imitations could never be described as pale.
  10. Sep 24, 2013
    A covers record will probably never pique interest in the way that a fresh batch of new material will. But for those who do take the risk, fans and the curious alike, Imitations is a touching, tasteful and rewarding listen that will not disappoint.
  11. Sep 12, 2013
    It's lightweight stuff, and the artier items on the list don't add ballast. Taken as the simplest of pleasures, though, Imitations succeeds on anyone's terms.
  12. 70
    Lanegan’s personality is present throughout Imitations without defiling the spirit of the originals, the best attribute of any cover.
  13. Sep 19, 2013
    With lush instrumentation so rich that non-vocal versions of the songs are also included on the album, these pills aren’t exactly chewable, but they’re easy to swallow.
  14. Sep 19, 2013
    Lanegan's stamp here is reverent-yet-indelible--think Mark Kozelek channeling AC/DC--and the organic sonic approach is an especially intriguing left turn following the electro buzz 'n' thrum of last year's resplendent Blues Funeral. [No. 102, p.57]
  15. Sep 13, 2013
    Lanegan's edge is his keen ear for contemporary material that suits the overall mood.
  16. Sep 26, 2013
    Imitations comes at the right time of year: like autumn, it has a decayed feel. Yet, this is more triumphant than simply bleak.
  17. 75
    Imitations is another strong entry to the diverse repertoire of a singer who seems to be gaining an increasing grasp of his vast expressive potential with age.
  18. Sep 19, 2013
    It’s a rewarding experience and probably one of the closest, most intimate listens an artist will offer this year.
  19. Sep 23, 2013
    Imitations lacks the visceral punch that Lanegan delivers at his best: it doesn't demand that the listener descend with it in the way that, say, Bubblegum manages to. That's not to say, though, that it's a failure; it's more the case that its emotional palette is a relatively comfortable one.
  20. 60
    His own sepia baritone summons some of that warmth on versions of “Solitaire”, “Autumn Leaves” and “You Only Live Twice”.
  21. Oct 30, 2013
    Covers of songs by Nick Cave, Chelsea Wolfe and Lanegan’s Gutter Twins bandmate, Greg Dulli, bring this collection slightly more up to date, but nothing sounds out of place. Rather, in Lanegan’s hands, they coalesce to form a record of timeless, typically morose joy.
  22. 80
    The vibe remains constant and satisfying. [Oct 2013, p.86]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Sep 17, 2013
    This is the 2nd collection of covers that Mark Lanegan has released, the previous set being 1998's more blues & soul inflected 'I'll takeThis is the 2nd collection of covers that Mark Lanegan has released, the previous set being 1998's more blues & soul inflected 'I'll take care of you'. It's his easy listening album, It's a bit like his version of Rod Stewart's great american songbook album though don't let that put you off! For the most part it's pretty good, there being the only occasional misstep. His voice is in fine form throughout, and there is a melancholic edge to most of the songs (of course!) Nice orchestration & use of strings in the background.
    There is an excellent version of Nancy Sinatra's 'You'll only live twice' & Frank Sinatra's 'Solitaire'. A song I'm not too keen on is his cover of Mack the Knife, some songs are just untouchable, even for Mark Lanegan!! But at least he tries to keep things interesting. If you like this and haven't heard 'I'll take care of you' do yourself a favour & buy/download that also. Altogether an enjoyable detour.
    Full Review »