Blackberry Belle – MusicEmissions.com

by Dennis Scanland

Now that the Afghan Whigs are just a legend, Greg Dulli was free to take his Twilight Singers project to the next level and that’s exactly what he did with Blackberry Belle. With an arsenal of different players on this album some of Greg’s finest songwriting to date has the back-up it’s needed. The albums starts off with one of the most romantic songs Dulli has ever written, called “Martin Eden”. The piano and arrangements are lush and create a great landscape for Dulli’s aching vocals. He doesn’t stray far from that track on the second song, “Esta Noche” but when he gets around to “Teenage Wristband” gloves are off. Fans might kill me for saying this but it starts off with almost a Meatloaf style piano line but when the guitar and Greg come in all Meatloaf references are off. It’s a thick song that is one of my favorites on Blackberry Belle. It reminds me a little bit of Gentlemen but a little sunnier. Then he gets downright funky on “Feathers”. Mark Lanegan is one of the artists on Blackberry and his vocals make a nice addition on “Number Nine”, the album closer. Dulli even experiments a little with electronic sounds on tracks like “Decatur St.” with positive results. Greg Dulli still seems to be stuck in a tragic love but it makes for great song material. Nothing can replace the Afghan Whigs Gentlemen album but I shouldn’t be so sure with an album as impressive as Blackberry Belle.

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