I’m Not The Loving Kind

Another lazy video/music post. Mark Lanegan is releasing a covers album in September, rather appropriately called Imitations. He has always been one of those artists I’ve admired more than loved, but I think this cover of John Cale’s I’m Not The Loving Kind is all kinds of wonderful.

It is pretty faithful to the original, yet Lanegan’s voice adds the necessary gravel and gravitas. Sometimes I’ve thought he’s been playing at the whole grizzled veteran act – some of his work with Isobel Campbell was fun enough but more Lee and Nancy pastiche than anything deeper – but he hits something truer somehow here.

What makes this song great to me is the rhythm of the refrain. “I’m not the loving kind” is written/sung in an almost rushed, pretty much throwaway fashion. It is perfect for the song and adds a necessary ambiguity. Does the protagonist care so little that he is happy to throw the line away, or does he not believe himself, so is unable to sing it with conviction?

And for comparison, here is the John Cale original: