The Afghan Whigs started out in 1988 and "1965" was there final album released in 1998. Afghan Whigs have put out six albums and I only own three. This is probably my third favorite AW album that I own, just behind Gentlemen and Congregation. The Afghan Whigs are a soul/rock band. "1965" is there jazziest and grooviest album that they have done. The Afghan Whigs started out as a garage rock band but then they started adding more sounds into there music and they came into a more rock/soul type of band.
Members - Greg Dulli
The Afghan Whigs play rock music and combine soul and jazz into there sound. Even though they add soul and jazz, it doesn't dominate the sound. Everything seems smooth and perfect in this album, the vocals are strong and emotional and the women backing vocals are tremendous. With some jazzy horns thrown in the mix you have great original music. When I first bought this album I will admit that I was a little bit bored, but after listening to this for a while it has really grown on me. AW can write songs with great emotional and make catchy yet complex songs blending in some different instruments. This album is dark and emotional, but at the same time it is original and catchy. The Afghan Whigs will be able to satisfy those who want catchy songs, and those who like darker music, or music with depth.
The vocals are a very strong point on the album. You could say that the vocals are sexy, or smooth. Another main part of the album is the backing vocals, they are sung by a women and they give the music a darker or meloncholy feel. I strongly dislike depressing music but I really enjoy this album, I'm not saying that this album is to depressing I'm just saying it's not really joyful and upbeat. The vocals create a gloomy feel and combining them with the jazzy instruments makes songs like "John The Baptist" and "Uptown Again" dark and catchy, The Afghan Whigs are just brilliant when they combine jazz/rock and very strong vocals.
Instrumentaly is also where "1965" strives. Having a good solid rock sound the Afghan Whigs mix in jazzy horns and dark hooks. The instruments make sort of a depressing or gloomy sound and the horns and backing vocals tie everything together to make great alt/rock music. The instruments also make the songs catchy, and while some are complex and dark others can be ultra catchy like "Crazy" and "Uptown Again" which is by far the best song off the album. The Afghan Whigs put out some great catchy songs combining dark lyrics and hooks to satisfy all listeners. Once again the music may sound dull and boring at first but once you start listening to the lyrics and all of the instruments then you will really start to enjoy this album.
Now even though this is a great album it does have its downsides. "Sweet Son Of A B!tch" is a 23 second lead in track to "66" which is another disspointing track. The problem with "66" is just that it is dull and doesn't go anywhere. The worst track on this album is "Omerta" which a very lengthy track and I just can't get into it. If you're not in the right mood for this album, then it simply doesn't work. Even though a lot of these songs are catchy if you don't want the dark and gloomy feel then you should stay away. The Afghan Whigs don't play useless pop songs, they have dark hooks and are fairly complex. This album isn't boring but sometimes when you listen to it you can't get into it, I don't know why this happens but for me I just can't listen to this in any point in time.
With the New Orleans jazz feel this album has the music isn't exactly jazz music. This album has a feel of jazz, soul, and rock. A piano even shows up in a few songs. If you're looking for something crazy the Afghan Whigs won't give you it, they stick to there sound and don't expand to far outside from what they do. I'm not saying they arn't inventive or unique they just don't jump from genre to genre, they pack rock, soul, and jazz into all of there songs. "1965" doesn't have an eerie sound to it, but there are dark and lyrics and melodies, Greg Dulli doesn't hold back which is what makes this album so much better. If you want something happy and upbeat then you shouldn't get this album because it is dark and even a bit depressing.
Overall I enjoy this album most of the time. I must warn you that some of these songs can get old rather quickly "66", "Omerta." "1965" features a load of standouts that just keep you coming back for more and more every time. Once you listen to the first three tracks there is no going back, they just suck you in with the vocals, and the jazzy New Orleans feel. I would recomend this album to someone who wants something with depth, and someone who wants some catchy songs on top of it. With dark lyrics, sexy vocals, jazzy instruments, and a great rock sound the Afghan Whigs really impressed me with "1965."
Overall rating : 4/5
Good catchy songs with substance
May bore some people
A few dull and uninspired tracks
"John the Baptist"
"The Vampire Lanois" (instrumental)