In my pantheon of Mark Lanegan records, Whiskey is second only to the recently released Field Songs. This album is worlds away from the Screaming Trees, and ambitious as hell. The atmospheric mix of bass and acoustic guitar on "The River Rise" will have you sold from the very beginning of the album. There's some really fantastic "light" stuff on this record; acoustic-heavy tracks "Carnival", "House A Home" and "Sunrise" whose guitars balance out Lanegan's black-as-midnight voice. As the record draws to a close, Lanegan is doing what he does best: from-the-gut songs about loneliness and despair. The closing three tracks are Mark Lanegan at his very best, lighting a cigarette for your soul with his minimalist arrangements and intelligent, powerful lyrics. The only misstep on the whole album is "Borracho", whose Seattle grunge roots are starting to show their age, but don't be fooled. This album is accessible, timeless Mark Lanegan, and a great introduction to his particular style of rock.