PopMatters Best of 2003

Popmatters.com Top 100 of 2003
Michael Christopher

#2

Former Afghan Whig leader Greg Dulli has hit a cocksure musical stride on his second Twilight Singers record. Fifteen years in, strutting along a rough and tumble world of lost loves, major label bullshit and the constant battle for mainstream appeal in one of the greatest soul rock bands ever, it’s about time for people to stand up and take notice. Not exactly a solo project and not quite as dysfunctional lyrically as his previous outfit, Twilight brings together a collective of musicians diverse as Mark Lanegan, Alvin Youngblood Hart and Apollonia to help spread (or shed) the love. The result is the equivalent to a cinematic masterpiece where all the characters play their roles to the hilt, while Dulli shines in the lead. Start to finish, Blackberry Belle is a ride full of tragedy and love with just enough of a pop sheen to mask the lyrical bloodletting. It’s got mainstream appeal (“Teenage Wristband”), it’s bleak (“Martin Eden”), and it’s pure brilliance in a place where the sun doesn’t rise and the darkness is constant.

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