Blackberry Belle – Metrobeat
BY SCOTT O. HALL
Who is Greg Dulli? Well no, he is not John Galt, but he has reached similar heights of enigma. I was never able to see Elvis live, but once at an Afghan Whigs show, the line of girls I witnessed waiting all night long just to get an up-close glimpse of Dulli would surely have made the King proud. Whatever his status might be as some kind of indie heartthrob, there’s no mistaking the fact that the Afghan Whigs were one of the most emotionally charged bands to emerge from the 1990s. After the breakup of the Whigs, Dulli went on to record with British outfit Fila Brazilia as the Twilight Singers and released Twilight As Played By…. With their second release, …Play Blackberry Belle, the Twilight Singers have changed gears, if only a little bit. Where their debut was a delicate album of lush love songs, Blackberry finds Dulli mining more of the territory he left with the Whigs. The songs here are dark, brooding, hormone-driven rockers that cover a wide range of emotional scenery. Tracks such as “Esta Noche” and “Feathers” skirt the edge of lights-out quiet storm with a shot of whiskey music. The album is great as a whole but easily the standout track, “Teenage Wristband,” is nothing short of brilliant. Featuring keyboards giving a wink to The Who’s “Baba O’Reilly,” Dulli growls, “you wanna go for a ride? I got sixteen hours to burn and I’m gonna stay up all night.” Truer words could not be spoken. Simply put, Blackberry Belle is an album for watching the night turn into day.