Is anyone better suited to cover Johnny Cash than ex-Screaming Trees growler Mark Lanegan? He’s dark. He’s brooding. And the Seattle grunge vet lends a gently sinister quality to his cover of “The Beast in Me” for The Hangover II soundtrack. After all, he’s a former heroin addict who has seen a few rough mornings himself.
Lanegan plays Cash’s somber acoustic ballad on an electric guitar, its notes ringing in waves of tremolo. “The beast in me / Has had to learn to live with pain / And how to shelter from the rain,” Lanegan sings. “And in the twinkling of an eye / Might have to be restrained / God help the beast in me.”
The Hangover II soundtrack, which also features songs by Kanye West, Wolfmother, Deadmau5, and Jenny Lewis, is available now.