Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Where some artists write from the head and others from the heart, Whigs' songwriter/frontman Greg Dulli writes from the groin. Filled with dark images of romantic obsession, Black Love is more like a movie than an album wi... more »
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Where some artists write from the head and others from the heart, Whigs' songwriter/frontman Greg Dulli writes from the groin. Filled with dark images of romantic obsession, Black Love is more like a movie than an album with each musical image building on the next. Perhaps no other band can play with such restraint, letting musical tension build until it can do nothing other than explode. Dulli is in his finest voice, moving from desperate screams to a quiet sinister crooning at the turn of a chord. Guitarist Rick McCollum plays everything from '70s funk to '90s grunge without missing a beat, and the rhythm section of John Curley (bass) and Paul Buchignani (drums) is as tight as they come. If '93's Gentlemen left any doubt about the true talent of the Whigs, Black Love puts it to rest. --Bill Snyder
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Patrick F Clifford | 11/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If my memory serves me right, this record came out on the same day that Smashing Pumpkins' "Mellon Collie and the Inifinite Sadness" was released (or right around then). Whereas that album went on to sell millions and established the Smashing Pumpkins as alterna-rock poster children, "Black Love" languished virtually ignored and sold (comparatively) nothing. I sold "Mellon Collie" back years ago and still listen to "Black Love" every week. This album is the document of an incredilble band at the height of it's artistic greatness. As a concept album, it makes it statement very powerfuly; as a rock album, it combines passion, regret, rock, and punk, more faithfully and convincingly than a thousand Smashing Pumpkins. "Faded" is anthemic rock at its most soulful, and the messed-up funk and soul of "Blame, etc." and "Honkey's Ladder" sound as convincing as Jon Spencer's best blues adorations. In the big rock and roll scheme of things, I can honestly put this record in the same category of greatness as The Who's "Who's Next" or Led Zeppelin's "Physical Graffiti" and not feel like some poseur, alterna-rock wanna-be. It really puts forth the same sense of absolute, timeless greatness. Everything about this record is incredible: the sound, the lyrics, the artwork, everything. Why Smashing Pumpkins are still so well regarded and Afghan Whigs are still so "underground" is such a complete mystery to me. In 20 years I won't know who Billy Corgan ever was (unless he's the governor of some state), but I'll still be listening to this great piece work. Can I write this any louder: THIS ALBUM IS INCREDIBLE."
Sigh...another lost classic...
Wheelchair Assassin | The Great Concavity | 02/10/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If there's one reason I've kept churning out my mediocre pieces of semi-informed musical criticism for the past four years, it's the hope that my writings may lead others to discover quality bands that they might otherwise have missed, especially those whose time has come and gone without finding the commercial success they deserved. Much like Dinosaur Jr., Mudhoney, and Pop Will Eat Itself, the Afghan Whigs are one such band. Led by the impassioned wailing and libidinous lyrics of frontman Greg Dulli, the Whigs played a sweaty, soulful brand of rock that, regrettably, didn't quite fit in with either the dominant mainstream or alternative currents of the '90's. They didn't sound like Nirvana, and they didn't sound like Hootie and the Blowfish, they just sounded like the Afghan Whigs, and while that sound didn't earn them platinum record sales it should earn them a listen from serious rock fans. And this album, 1996's Black Love, was a fitting testament to their abilities.
While there a few somewhat wimpy moments to be found on Black Love (with Step Into the Light being by far the worst offender), most of the songs here are excellent, filled with outsized emotion, irresistibly memorable hooks, and flawless musicianship. In spite of Dulli's commanding vocal presence, the real star here is guitarist Rick McCollum, whose playing expertly exploits tension, dynamics, and dissonance for a sound somewhat tantamount to a bizzarre crossbreeding of U2, the Replacements, and Yo La Tengo. McCollum provides just about everything you could want to hear on a rock album, from the steady buildup and massive crescendo of Crime Scene Part One; to the euphoric leads of My Enemy; to the screeching feedback of Blame, Etc.; to the hard-pounding riffage of Honky's Ladder and Summer's Kiss. Even better are the album's two longest songs, Bulletproof and Faded. The former starts out with a dense haze of guitar noise before morphing into a monumental piece of fiery, intense rock; the latter is a slow-burning, piano-driven epic that shrinks and grows in harrowing fashion througout its eight-minute running time.
Anyway, while it's rather tragic that these guys didn't have much of a commercial impact, that certainly shouldn't be viewed as an indictment of their sound. Black Love is a vastly underappreciated album, one that should appeal strongly to fans of intelligent, emotional rock 'n' roll. Unfortunately, such a commodity seems to be in increasingly short supply these days, but that just means those who manage to deliver it deserve even more of our attention."
Scott Winter(firstname.lastname@example.org) | Pineville, Kentucky | 01/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having listened to Black Love from beginning to end countless times, I can only say that it is truly an awesome album. Not awesome as in the generic way that the term has been driven into the ground, but literally this album leaves you in awe after listening to it. It encompasses every possible human emotion from the eerie start to the tear jerking Faded. If you want balls to the wall, badass rock and roll, Honky's Ladder will fit the bill better than ANYTHING that Korn or Limp Bizkit have ever put out. The Afghan Whigs are the greatest rock band in existence, and Greg Dulli has a voice that is beyond compare. I could write over the 1,000 word maximum singing the praises of this album, but I will digress and leave it up to you to buy this album and listen to it as often as possible, I promise you will never get sick of it. Hell, while you're at it, buy two copies, one for your car and one for your house. My favorite CD of all time."