The Afghan Whigs - Black Love (3LP)
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**20th Anniversary Edition, RSD Black Friday 2016 US release**
Following the dense, pseudoliterary aspirations of Gentlemen, Black Love sounds nearly lighthearted. That doesn't mean it's a light record - lead singer/songwriter Greg Dulli has an overwhelming affection for the morose and the twisted. From the grinding guitars to the hardboiled lyrics, The Afghan Whigs revel in the dark side. The problem is, Dulli isn't a compelling enough melodicist to make the songs stick; furthermore, his lyrics frequently sound like posturing, as if they were learned from books and movies. When the Afghan Whigs are at their best, they create a soundscape that evokes the lyrical world Dulli tries so hard to conjure. Rooted in indie guitar rock, the band blends in slight elements of early-'70s soul and R&B, with an occasional country overtone.