Dark and scary..... And simply brilliant
Anthony S. Alpert | Weaverville, CA | 05/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow, the only thing more difficult than listening to this record is writing a review.
A little history.... I saw the title song on MTV's 120 minutes. It was good. I heard the song on the radio and it was good. Just about every song on this CD is "good." The point being, when you listen to it as a whole, each song becomes GREAT. "Gentlemen" and "Debonair" were minor hits, and if you heard those songs and they sounded "o.k.", trust me when I say that after to listening to CD a few times you will appreciate those minor hits 10 fold.
I bought this CD a few months ago after reading the reviews on Amazon.com. I was blown away. I really haven't seen such passionate reviews on any record on Amazon.com. Not even the Beatles have any 5 star studio recordings. Where the listeners/reviewers duped? Hardly.
I have now been obsessed with this CD for 3 months. Words can not describe the pain, torment and beauty of this CD. This is not a CD to listen to while drinking beers and playing pool with your buddies. This is a solitary CD, to be listened to while sitting in a chair, and giving it your full attention. No books or magazines allowed. Just you and your attention, please. Only then will you truly understand the genius of this record.
This CD is all about love. A love that lasted a third of Greg Dulli's life. A love that ended. Greg is in horrific pain, and it is obvious. To write songs that simply say "You are a b_tch and I hate you" would be way too simple. This is not that type of record. Greg accepts responsibility for his failings. The part that is really scary is that you and I have those same traits and thus, the same failings. To use a tired cliche, Greg points the finger at the female, and simultaneously points three fingers back at himself. And you and I have at least two of those three traits.
"Gentlemen" was the first song I heard. It was "ok" a few months ago, and yet now it is simply brilliant. I can honestly say I "get" that song perfectly when listened to with the rest of the CD. Every song here works... there is no filler. Even the instrumental at end works, like a warm bath after at hard day's work in a coal mine. The instrumental is needed after the emotional devastation caused by this record.
This is not a fun CD to listen to. In fact, Greg had another singer sing one of the songs because it was too painful for him. "My Curse" features Marcy Mays, and she is amazing. If you were wondering, there is a line where she talks about perfume that the other person is wearing. This is not a lesbian love song, it is a song written by Greg to a female that he could never sing in the studio because it was too painful. And if you go to youtube and see the live version of the song sung by Marcy, you will understand why.
My favorite song may by "What Jail is Like," but "Be Sweet" and "My Curse" are also among my favorites. "Favorite" meaning most painful, most like my own life, and most likely to make me cry.
People compare the Afghan Whigs to Nirvana. They were both on Sub Pop. "Nevermind" is brilliant, but it is not "Gentlemen." First, the lyrics on "Nevermind" can't even come close to "Gentlemen." There are no "an albino, a mosquito" lyrics on Gentlemen. This is not to bash Nirvana, but Gentlemen is so much deeper. Second, The Afghan Whigs are great musicians. If any of you play guitar, you know that "Nevermind" is a pretty simple album to play, so long as you know what a power chord is. Not so with "Gentlemen." The Afghan Whigs are real musicians, with a definitely soul influence. Heck, there are even pianos on this CD.
Well, I guess I've rambled for a long time. If you are still happily with your first girlfriend from 8th grade, then skip this record. Get a Hanson record instead. But if you have been emotionally destroyed by the breakup of a relationship anytime in your life, then get this record. You will understand it. And you will be amazed by it, just like all the others who have reviewed "Gentlemen."
And yes.....it really is that good.