Thanks for this.
The question posited to me was whether or not this album was "Christian."
I don't think that a silly question, I took it seriously.
It is, and it isn't- it doesn't have to be and it doesn't have a choice not to be.
Cryptic, but that's the album. It is dogmatic, and dirty and in so many ways what it claims to be.
The Soulsavers are aptly named, as it really does get to the meat of the matter of the soul and the lyrics beg for saving.
"Revival" is a good single, but the deeper voice from Mark Lanegan is chillingly reminiscent of Johnny Cash- as is noted on their website concerning the second single "Kingdoms of Rain." The man's voice is enthralling, but the lyrics are simple, roots/americana based. In "Ghosts of You and Me" there is a fair amount of borrowing, but the emotion is felt throughout.
Highlights are certainly "Revival" & "Kingdoms of Rain", but I also fancied "Ghosts of You and Me," the stand out "Spiritual" is simple and a prayer against a man's greatest fear- a lonely death.
The production value is superb, the quality of the entire album is cohesive, this album is tarnished silver with all the functionality despite its aged appearance.
"Jesus of Nothing"is another notable track (it was hard not to note something about every track), but continues the story telling from Mark Lanegan and the Soulsavers, with a biting chorus, probably the track risking the most of a blashphemous label, yet it doesn't desecrate.
The final track is "No Expectations" but it is also an outro for the album, segmented by a significant, but not lengthy pause between the dark and personal lyrics of "No Expectations"- in which the themes and lyrical elements from the previous songs culiminate- and the almost phantasmal instrumental outro.
Consistency this complete for an album is rarely seen, while the few standouts I mention are either the singles or Spiritual- lyrically simple, the whole album exudes a sort of intoxicated dreary divine quality. I recommend watching the videos for "Revival" and "Kingdoms of Rain" as well.
If you like Johnny Cash's recently produced works (or perhaps the Sneaker Pimps/Portishead, some elements are reminiscent) and soulful introspection, this album is for you.
Now, the matter of the content and soul saving?
Art does reflect life, and if the content of this album is evidence enough- then Lanegan's own pain and redemption is in it for the long haul.
As far as Christian? Not terribly, this is a sinner's album, for sinners, but the point of that is that it is Christian dogmatic- dealing with those elements and loads of suffering- which is what blues & country had done alongside gospel, only this is something else, something dark, brooding and very much singular to the Soulsavers.