Review Summary: The Afghan Singers.
The unsung hero of Alternative Rock, Greg Dulli, has been mainly known for his incredible work with the Pop-Rock extraordinaire group The Afghan Whigs, but his side-project The Twilight Singers is just as (in)credible. And of all of the band’s albums, this might be the most emotionally driving, tunefully explosive and overall consistent. However, given the fact that this is merely an Afghan Whigs younger sibling, there needs to be a certain differentiation possible, which this band has minimum of.
Unfortunately, for as vibrant, pulsating and vigorous as this album undoubtedly is, Dulli didn’t go too far from Afghan Whigs stylistically. Of course, apart from the production. The Whigs have been known for managing to sonically enrich the typical Rock sound on their records and make it so perfectly unique and refreshing. It seems as though the Twilight Singers are a more normalised compensation for that, impeccable from the song-writing perspective, but standard from the arrangement and production standpoint.
But even though musically this is indeed a standard affair, you cannot deny Dulli’s absolute compositional mastery. He takes your usual Pop-Rock glamour and makes it rough, tough and full of that special gut only Dulli possesses, yet still coming off as sensual and sensible. If the songs like “Underneath the Waves” and “Candy Cane Crawl” don’t convince you of that, you are a doomed person.
So if anything, this isn’t a perfect album and not a breath of fresh air from the Afghan Whigs, the band for the fresh air seekers. This is their normalised version. This is what Afghans would have sounded like, given the opportunity to ease out on challenging creativity and to simplify their image. So either appreciate it like the fun magical manly melancholia it is, or be gone into your wormhole of kindness-treachery.