If this is his pop album then I'm sure as hell glad I'm not in his head. The first half of this is as good as anything you'll hear this year - psychotic reactions indeed. Like all great blues albums (for that's what this is in all but name), it's anything but happy going - try this for some cheer: "no-one needs to tell you that there's no use for you here any more...so let's get it on" (from the first song no less). PJ Harvey adds some frightening backing vocals Diamanda Galas style (it actually sounds like she's singing down a very bad phone line), Lanegan throws in a line from Johnny Cash's "Jackson" just to show his roots, Izzy & Duff (ex-GNR of course) add some beautiful backing vocals to the album's true highlight in 'Strange Religion'.
Charting his drug addictions from "Methamphetamine Blues" through 'there is no morphine...', the sound of the album jumps just as wildly as said addictions - from stuff Ian Curtis would have dismissed as 'too miserable' through to stuff that SHOULD have made 'Songs For the Deaf'.
To be brutally honest, this is everything you wished QOTSA and their Desert Sessions could put together without the overblown rock to bring it all down. Odds are he'll one day be found with a broken needle in his arm of a shotgun in his mouth (how's this for a positive life-affirming lyric: "I called it a day so many times I didn't know what it felt like to be alive"), but until that day we ALL win when the music is THIS GOOD.
"Are we going to be judged on these lonely deeds?"