She Loves You – CityBeat

Reviewed by Mike Breen

Grade: A-

Music: Short Takes

Cincinnati area native Greg Dulli has long shown his propensity for cool cover selections. With the Afghan Whigs, Dulli and his cohorts would continually throw snippets and full-blown versions of everything from Sinead O’Connor’s “Mandinka” to TLC’s “Creep” into their sets and discography. Dulli has continued the practice with his solo outlet, The Twilight Singers, and She Loves You features 11 remakes, many of which Dulli has played on recent tours. Dulli has a Jazz man’s mind for interpretation, making the songs his own, putting a creative spin on the rewiring and still somehow making it all sound respectful of the originals. Dulli also has the ability to unveil aspects of a song not blatantly apparent in the originals. Björk’s version of “Hyperballad” is an interesting exercise in electronic music but Dulli reveals the songwriting strength beneath the techno blips. It takes balls to take on Billie Holiday’s civil rights anthem “Strange Fruit,” but by splicing it with the arpeggio Rock guitars of The Beatles’ “She’s So Heavy,” Dulli’s version becomes a another song entirely. Elsewhere, Dulli uses John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” as a lead-in into the gut-wrenching “Please Stay (Once You Go Away)” by Marvin Gaye, recasting both as Rock songs without sacrificing the soulful, spiritual intent of the originals. A great, intuitive writer in his own right, Dulli understands song craft, which might explain his ability to give these songs — as well as versions of tunes by Mary J. Blige, Hope Sandoval, Martina Topley-Bird, Fleetwood Mac and Skip James — a Twilight spin without besmirching the originator’s good names. Unlike many artists, Dulli doesn’t do covers as a novelty; he seems to do them as a genuine music lover.

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