From the Archives

Blackberry Belle - Vertical Slum

Date: 12.01.03
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- J.C.

Greg Dulli remarked in a recent interview, "You put out a record and say, 'This is me and what I've been feeling.'" So then how does Blackberry Belle, the latest release from the Dulli spear-headed Twilight Singers, feel? Dark, eclectic and loose. Clearly, Blackberry Belle is the best thing Dulli has done since the Afghan Whigs epic Black Love. Yes, it's THAT good. That's not to disparage the Afghan Whigs 1965 or Twilight As Played By The Twilight Singers. Those were solid efforts but this is a truly great album. Overall, it's focused. No filler. All thriller (with apologies to Jack-o and the dangling baby).

This piece rocks like a house party in a haunted mansion. There's a lyrical duality that runs throughout the record that teases all of your emotional knee-jerks. Are we to feel desperate and despondent or encouraged and elated? The answer is a complicated "all of the above". Dulli's cinematic approach to writing songs and albums launches you on a rollercoaster ride through the rock & roll abyss.

Blackberry Belle transcends the current popular music trends and plays like a guilty-pleasure. Celestial, at times. Sweet oblivion, indeed.

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