Black Love – Pitt City Paper

In a world that’s becoming filled with cookie-cutter alternative bands, what’s most appealing about Afghan Whigs is that its dark, seductive sound goes back further than the heyday of Nirvana’s influence.

Whig leader Greg Dulli has been public in regard to his affection for R&B artists, especially the Motown contingent, and it shows throughout Black Love.

Infiltrating the band’s trademark sound – a mixture of scissored rhythms and guitars that sway with the force of a ship on choppy waters – are the soulful ghosts of Otis, Marvin, and Sam. But the term “black” runs deeper than just an influence or even an album title. It’s at the album’s thematic heart. There is the constant reminder of lost love, diluted passion and unwanted possession. It’s a gripping scenario of romance that seduces a lover with the deadly embrace of a thousand Medusas. Dulli’s strangled vocal range does the trick, espousing the frustration held within one’s heart ’til it bursts with ugliness. For those who got on board with 1993’s Gentlemen, Black Love is the artistic progression that should bear witness to the Whigs’ greatness.

John Patrick Gatta

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