Partial return to form from Afghan Whigs lynchpin Greg Dulli
After a misfiring foray into dance music on the first Twilight Singers album three years ago, Blackberry Belle finds Greg Dulli on surer ground. This time, the musicians he employs are happiest recreating the expansive grunge-soul sound of the Whigs, so that the likes of “Teenage Wristband” (featuring sometime Prince muse Apollonia Kotero) wouldn’t sound too out of place on that band’s Black Love.
Dulli remains a compelling frontman?all male hurt and conspicuous strain?but his songwriting can be a bit thin these days, juggling atmospherics and crescendos in a rather predictable fashion. The arrival of Mark Lanegan as guest vocalist on the highlight, “Number Nine”, is providential; maybe Queens Of The Stone Age could revitalise Dulli’s career, too?